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Widespread occurrence of Cryptosporidium infections in patients with HIV/AIDS: Epidemiology, clinical feature, diagnosis, and therapy.

Acta Tropica 2018 November
Cryptosporidium infection is a serious threat for HIV/AIDS patients, causing severe diarrhea and even death. The overall prevalence of Cryptosporidium in HIV/AIDS patients was calculated as approximately 8.69% (7,799/89,724), with higher prevalence observed in individuals with diarrhea, individuals with low CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts, and antiretroviral therapy-naïve individuals. Cryptosporidium infection was not significantly associated with patient age or gender, national development levels, or continent of residence. Over the period from 2007 to 2017, Cryptosporidium prevalence was 10.09% (3,282/32,517); this figure was higher than that observed in each of the previous observation periods (1985-1995 and 1996-2006), suggesting that the prevalence of cryptosporidiosis has been increasing over time in HIV/AIDS patients. Ten Cryptosporidium species and genotypes have been identified from 1,252 isolates, with C. hominis, C. parvum, and C. meleagridis accounting for 93.53% of infections. Five subtypes each of C. hominis (Ia, Ib, Id, Ie, and If), C. parvum (IIa to IIe), and C. meleagridis (IIIa to IIIe) have been described by sequence analyses of the 60-kDa glycoprotein (gp60) gene. Variation in the clinical manifestations observed in HIV/AIDS patients might be attributed to infection by different Cryptosporidium species, genotypes and subtypes, as well as different sites of infection. New molecular and immunological diagnostic techniques are in development or already commercially available. High-throughput screening methods for development of new or repurposed therapeutics as well as novel parasite genetic manipulation strategies offer hope for improving human cryptosporidiosis therapies. Painstaking efforts by researchers as well as support from governments and funding agencies will be required to make lasting achievements in this field.

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