Intestinal parasitic and candida infection associated with HIV infection in Cameroon
Introduction: HIV causes progressive impairment of the cellular immune system leading to increased susceptibility to infectious agents. Parasitic infestations are common in HIV-infected patients and usually lead to diarrhoea. Few studies have addressed the issue of intestinal parasites among HIV-infected persons in Cameroon. This investigation was conducted in Douala, Cameroon, to assess the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in HIV-infected patients, taking into account their immune status and treatment course.
Methodology: Stool and blood samples were collected from 201 HIV-positive patients for the investigation of intestinal pathogens and CD4+ counts.
Results: Fifty-six (27.9%) patients harbored pathogens. The most frequent pathogens were Candida spp. (14.9%), Cryptosporidium spp. (7.5%), Entamoeba histolytica, and Entamoeba dispar (3%). The presence of pathogens was significantly associated with diarrhoea, as they were found in 48.6% of diarrhoeic stools and 23.2% of non-diarrhoeic stools (OR = 3.14, p= 0.0018). Prevalence of pathogens and diarrhoea were significantly higher in patients with CD4+ counts ≤ 200 cells/µL (OR = 2.17, p = 0.0349 and OR = 8.46, p = 0.000019 respectively).
Conclusions: This study highlights the need for investigating intestinal pathogens in HIV-infected patients presenting with diarrhoea, especially when their CD4+ counts are low.
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