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EC Microbiol. 2017;9(6):231-240. Epub 2017 Jul 20.

Prevalence of Intestinal Parasites Among HIV Infected and HIV Uninfected Patients Treated at the 1° De Maio Health Centre in Maputo, Mozambique.

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Parasitology Laboratory, Microbiology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique.
Biology Department, Sciences Faculty, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique.
Mozambique Institute of Health Education and Research, Maputo, Mozambique.
National Institute of Health, Ministry of Health, Maputo, Mozambique.
Department of Medicine, Infectious Diseases Division, University of California, San Diego, USA.



Increased evidence suggests intestinal parasite infections, one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, increase the acquisition and progression of AIDS.


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HIV and intestinal parasite co-infections, the relationship to the degree of immunosuppression and the effect of antiretroviral treatment (ART) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TS) on patients treated at 1° de Maio Health Centre in Maputo, Mozambique.


A cross sectional study was conducted from December 2015 to August 2016. A total of 517 stool samples from 371 (71.8%) HIV infected and 146 (28.2%) HIV uninfected patients were examined for the presence of parasites using direct wet mount, Ritchie and modified Ziehl Neelsen techniques. A subsample of 201 stools from HIV infected patients was processed for coproantigens for the detection of Cryptosporidium spp.


Overall, 148 (28.6%) of the individuals were infected with at least one parasite. The prevalence of intestinal parasites was 98 (26.4%) and 50 (34.2%) in HIV infected and uninfected patients, respectively. This difference was not statistically significant. We identified 10 different parasites including (most frequently) Trichuris trichiura 67 (12.9%), Ascaris lumbricoides 27 (5.2%) and Entamoeba coli 40 (7.7%). Giardia intestinalis prevalence was significantly higher in HIV infected patients 12 (3.2%), p = 0.02. Parasitic intensity was higher in HIV infected patients than in HIV uninfected patients. Cryptosporidium spp. prevalence by coproantigen detection was 6% and was associated with degree of immune suppression. A CD4+ T-cell count of < 200 cells/μL was significantly associated with higher prevalence and intensity of parasitism, while ART and TS prophylaxis was associated with lower parasitic prevalence.


Our study revealed that the prevalence and intensity of intestinal parasites in HIV infected patients was related to the degree of immune suppression as assessed by CD4+ cell count, while ART and TS seemed to reduce the parasitic infection.


Co-Infection HIV intestinal parasites; Coccidiae; Helminthes; Protozoan


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