Volume 56, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The prevalence and importance of as a causal agent of acute diarrhea among pediatric patients from Zulia State, Venezuela was assessed. Single stool specimens were collected from 310 children 0–60 months of age with acute diarrheal disease who were admitted to three public hospitals and from 150 comparable control children without gastrointestinal symptoms who were seen as outpatients. oocysts were identified in 35 (11.2%) of 310 children with diarrhea and the coccidium was the single detectable pathogen in only 12 (34.2%). Other potential pathogenic parasites were present in most of the patients shedding oocysts (23 of 35, 65%). In nondiarrheal control children, oocysts were identified in nine (6%) of 150. The data suggest that is relatively highly endemic in children 0–60 months of age in Zulia State and that although may be an important pathogen associated with diarrhea, it may be a cause of only a small proportion of diarrheal episodes.


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