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Parasitol Res. 2005 Oct;97(4):270-3. Epub 2005 Jul 7.

Diarrhea, CD4+ cell counts and opportunistic protozoa in Indian HIV-infected patients.

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Parasitology Department of Medical School, Tarbiat Modarres University, P.O. Box 14115-331, Tehran, Iran,


The aim of this study was to examine the relationships among diarrhea, CD4+ cell counts and opportunistic protozoa in HIV-infected patients in North India. In a retrospective study, blood and stool samples of 200 HIV-infected patients from March 2001 until 2003, submitted to the AIDS division of National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), were analyzed. Each patient was examined for opportunistic protozoa, HIV-1 status and CD4+ cell counts, and screened for diarrheal symptoms. The rate of diarrhea was 38% in the stool examination. In HIV-infected patients in the groups CD4+ > 500 cells/microL, 200 cells/microL < CD4+ < 500 cells/muL and in the AIDS patients CD4+ < 200 cells/microL, diarrhea was 14.7, 29.8 and 56.1%, respectively. It is clear that the diarrhea in the AIDS patients was significant compared with the two former groups (P < 0.0005). In the AIDS patients CD4+ < 200 cells/microL with diarrhea, Cryptosporidium infection was, at 56.5%, the highest and statistically significant compared with the other parasites (P = 0.037). Microsporidium was detected in 30.4% of the AIDS patients. Diarrhea was common and most strongly associated in patients with low CD4+ cell counts. The data stress the importance of opportunistic protozoa in the HIV-infected patients, and that opportunistic protozoa should be expected in HIV-infected patients with low CD4+ and diarrhea.

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