Cryptosporidiosis has been reported to be associated with HIV/acquired immune deficiency syndrome, which greatly reduces the quality of life and shortens the life expectancy of HIV-infected patients. In order to properly treat the infected patients, accurate and automatic diagnostic tools need to be developed. In this study, a novel microfluidic immunochip system was presented for the surveillance and the rapid detection of Cryptosporidium infection in 190 HIV-infected patients from Guangxi, China, using the P23 antigen of Cryptosporidium. The procedure of detection can be completed within 10 min with 2 μl sample consumption. The system also was evaluated using the standard ELISA method. Among 190 HIV-infected individuals, the rate of P23 positivity was 13.7%. Seropositivity in HIV-infected individuals was higher in female patients. The seropositivity to P23 was higher in HIV-infected individuals with high viral load, although the difference was statistically insignificant. Significantly higher Cryptosporidium seropositivity was observed in HIV-infected individuals with a CD4+ T-cell count of <200 cells/μl than in those with ≥200 cells/μl. Our results also demonstrate that a lower CD4+ T-cell count may reflect an increased accumulated risk for cryptosporidiosis. The detection system was further validated using the standard ELISA method and good correlation between the two methods was found (r = 0.80). Under the same sensitivity, this new microfluidic chip device had a specificity of 98.2%. This developed system may provide a powerful platform for the fast screening of Cryptospordium infection in HIV-infected patients.

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