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Arch Dis Child. 1997 Feb;76(2):124-8.

Pulmonary manifestations in HIV seropositivity and malnutrition in Zimbabwe.

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Department of Paediatrics, Mpilo Central Hospital, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.


Over a 10 month period 184 children, aged 5 years or less, who died at home had their nutritional status and HIV serostatus established; necropsies were also carried out. The HIV antibody test was positive in 122/184 (66%). Of the HIV seropositive children Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia was present in 19 (16%), cytomegalovirus pneumonia in nine (7%), and lymphoid interstitial pneumonitis in 11 (9%). Opportunistic infection was therefore seen in 28/122 (23%) of the seropositive cases but in none of the seronegative cases. Tuberculosis was present in 8/184 (4%): 6/122 (5%) in HIV seropositive and 2/62 (3%) in seronegative children. Lung aspirate showed positive bacterial isolates in 106/ 122 (86%) of HIV seropositive and 46/62 (74%) of seronegative children with Gram negative organisms predominating in both groups. Malnutrition was common and affected 106/184 (58%); positive growth was obtained in 98 (92%) of the malnourished children irrespective of their HIV serostatus. Malnutrition was significantly associated with bacterial lung infection after adjustment for the confounding effect of HIV status. No association was found between HIV serostatus and bacterial lung infection that could not be attributed to malnutrition at the time of death. The importance of adequate nutrition in reducing the risk of bacterial infection in HIV infected children is apparent.

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