Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

The incidence of Cyclospora cayetanensis in stool samples submitted to a district general hospital

S. C. Clarkea1 c1 and M. McIntyrea1

a1 Department of Microbiology, Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, Berkshire SL2 4HL


Cyclospora cayetanensis is the cause of a prolonged diarrhoeal syndrome. In the UK most cases are seen in travellers who have returned from countries in which the organism is endemic. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the incidence of C. cayetanensis in stool samples submitted to a district general hospital. A total of 6151 stools from 5374 different patients were screened for the presence of C. cayetanensis over a 1-year period using the modified Ziehl-Neelsen technique. Oocysts of C. cayetanensis were found in 7 stools (0·1%) from 4 patients (0·07%). All four patients were adult travellers who had visited countries in which C. cayetanensis is known to be endemic. In the population of this study, C. cayetanensis was found to be a rare cause of diarrhoea. Although C. cayetanensis infection should be considered in individuals of all ages who have lived in, or have travelled to endemic areas, there is no need to screen stool samples for the organism in those without such a travel history.

(Accepted January 26 1996)


c1 S. C. Clarke, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Leicester, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences Building, PO Box 138, University Road. Leicester LE1 9HN.