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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 123-126

Soil contamination with Cryptosporidium spp. in the west of Iran

1 Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Skin Diseases and Leishmaniasis Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
3 Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Mohammad A Mohaghegh
PhD., Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1687-7942.175010

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Background Cryptosporidium spp. is a coccidian protozoan parasite that causes gastrointestinal disorders in human and animals. Several studies have demonstrated that the soil of public parks and schools presents an important source of infection which has a significant impact on public health. Children are the main group affected by accidentally ingesting contaminated soil. Aim of the work The aim of this study was to detect the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts in soil collected from primary schools and parks in Kermanshah city, west of Iran. Materials and methods The survey was conducted from August to December 2014 in Kermanshah city. Altogether 192 randomly selected soil samples were collected from 24 parks and 24 primary schools in six regions. The samples were screened for Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts using Sheather's flotation method and modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining. Results Out of 192 samples, 49 (25.5%) were found to contain Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts. Data analysis using χ2 -test revealed that there was no significance among parks and primary schools in terms of the contamination rate (P = 0.24). Furthermore, there was no significant difference between the contamination rate and different regions of Kermanshah (P = 0.36). Regions 3 and 4 had the highest contamination rate (34.4%) and the lowest was for region 6 (15.6%). Conclusion Considering human infection with different Cryptosporidium spp. and the increase in numbers of immunocompromised patients, high contamination of soil with this parasite in Kermanshah stands as a serious problem. Consequently, health promotions, public education, improving sanitation conditions, especially for the underprivileged, are the keys to success in preventing the spread of Cryptosporidium spp. infection. In this regard, findings of this study can be used as a basis for preventive programs and development strategies targeting groups for the prevention of greater risk of cryptosporidiosis.

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