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Trop Parasitol. 2012 Jan;2(1):29-34. doi: 10.4103/2229-5070.97236.

Enteric pathogens in HIV-positive patients with diarrhoea and their correlation with CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts.

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1
Department of Microbiology, Sawai ManSingh Medical College, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Opportunistic parasitic infections are among the most serious infections in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive patients and claim number of lives every year. The present study was conducted to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites and to elucidate the association between intestinal opportunistic parasitic infection and CD4 (CD4+ T lymphocyte) counts in HIV-positive patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The study was done on 266 HIV-positive patients presenting with diarrhoea and 100 HIV-positive patients without diarrhoea attending the integrated counselling and testing centre (ICTC) of SMS hospital, Jaipur. Simultaneously, CD4+ T-cell count estimation was done to assess the status of HIV infection vis-à-vis parasitic infections. The identification of pathogens was done on the basis of direct microscopy and different staining techniques.

RESULTS:

Out of 266 patients with diarrhoea, parasites were isolated from 162 (i.e. 60.9%) patients compared to 16 (16%) patients without diarrhoea. Cryptosporidium parvum (25.2%) was the predominant parasite isolated in HIV-positive patients with diarrhoea followed by Isospora belli (10.9%). Parasites were more commonly isolated from stool samples of chronic diarrhoea patients, (77% i.e. 128/166) as compared to acute diarrhoea patients (34% i.e. 34/100) (P<0.05). The maximum parasitic isolation was in the patients with CD4+ T cell counts below 200 cells/μl.

CONCLUSIONS:

Chronic diarrhoea in HIV-positive patients with CD4+ T-cell counts <200/μl has high probability of association with intestinal parasitic infections. Identification of these parasitic infections may play an important role in administration of appropriate therapy and reduction of mortality and morbidity in these patients.

KEYWORDS:

CD4+ T-cell counts; Coccidian parasites; Diarrhoea; HIV

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