Molecular epidemiology of Microsporidia among HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients in the Limpopo province, South Africa
Introduction: Human microsporidiosis represents an important and rapidly emerging opportunistic disease. The present study investigated the prevalence of microsporidia among HIV positive and HIV negative patients with or without diarrhoea in Vhembe and Mopani Districts in the Limpopo Province.
Methodology: A total of 170 stool samples were collected from these patients and microsporidia species was detected using a Real-Time PCR targeting a conserved region of the small ribosomal subunit rRNA (SSU-rRNA) gene of Enterocytozoon bieneusi, Encephalitozoon intestinalis, Encephalitozoon hellem, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi.
Results: Fifty six (32.9%) were positive for microsporidia. The prevalence was higher in HIV negative patients (36.6%) while 24.1% of patients who were HIV positive had microsporidia. Microsporidia was more common among patients aged between 1 and 10 years (52.6%). However among the HIV positive patients, microsporidia prevalence was higher among those that were not taking antiretrovirals (ARVs) compared to those who were on ARVs, (36.6%) and (24.1%), respectively. Microsporidia was also noted to be significantly associated with diarrheal and stomach pains; p = 0.02 and p = 0.048, respectively. Furthermore, microsporidia infections was more prevalent among patients who had animals at home (p = 0.037).
Conclusions: Study has shown a high prevalence of microsporidia among patients attending primary health centers in the Mopani District for the first time. Prevalence of microsporidia was higher among HIV negative and HIV positive patients who were not on ARV treatment. Keeping animals in the household appeared to be a risk of getting infected with microsporidia. Further studies are needed to determine the genetic characteristics of these organisms in the study population.
Copyright (c) 2021 Amidou Samie, Rhulani Patricia Maluleke, Nicoline Tanih, Ali ElBakri
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).