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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2002 Jun;97(4):443-57.

Some aspects of protozoan infections in immunocompromised patients- a review.

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  • 1Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Uberlândia, MG, 38400-027, Brasil.


Protozoa are among the most important pathogens that can cause infections in immunocompromised hosts. These microorganisms particularly infect individuals with impaired cellular immunity, such as those with hematological neoplasias, renal or heart transplant patients, patients using high doses of corticosteroids, and patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The protozoa that most frequently cause disease in immunocompromised patients are Toxoplasma gondii, Trypanosoma cruzi, different Leishmania species, and Cryptosporidium parvum; the first two species cause severe acute meningoencephalitis and acute myocarditis, Leishmania sp. causes mucocutaneous or visceral disease, and Cryptosporidium can lead to chronic diarrhea with hepatobiliary involvement. Various serological, parasitological, histological and molecular methods for the diagnosis of these infections are currently available and early institution of specific therapy for each of these organisms is a basic measure to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with these infections.

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