Every year, the number of people living with HIV rises as a consequence of advanced infections and the positive effects of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Gastrointestinal involvement is common, with 90% of patients seeking treatment for gastrointestinal problems as their HIV infection progresses. Nonetheless, identifying and characterization of infectious agents is important for patient management by excluding a clinical diagnosis and determining appropriate treatment, as well as determining public healthcare policy for true pathogen prevalence and yielding epidemiological risk factors for specific infections. The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of symptomatic or asymptomatic intestinal parasitic infection among HIV or AIDS patients. For this study with 80 HIV seropositive patients being recruited from various wards and the Integrated Counseling and Testing Center (ICTC) affiliated to the microbiology department. Patients with acute and chronic diarrhea with abdominal disorder were taken as symptomatic whereas patients without these clinical complaints and who came for routine investigations were taken as asymptomatic. Firstly stool samples were analyzed by macroscopically for the presence of mucus, blood, larvae, segments of tapeworm and adult worms. The consistencies of stool were also recorded such as formed, watery or soft or loose with odor and color. It was examined microscopically after macroscopically for protozoan cysts and trophozoites, helminthic ova and larvae, as wet mount preparation by saline and iodine preparation as well as formal ether concentrated. For the detection of intestinal coccidian parasites, smears were prepared from stool samples and a modified Ziel-Nelseen (MZN) stain was also performed. Stool samples with the detection of parasites were informed for treatment. The prevalence of intestinal parasite was 23.75% with asymptomatic and symptomatic groups having a prevalence of 16.98% and 37.04% respectively. Out of total patients, 56.25% were male and 43.75% were female. Among the male patients, 11 (13.75%) were positive for an intestinal parasitic infection and 8 (10%) were positive among females. The age distribution data revealed that the age group 21-40 years old had the highest number of intestinal parasites, followed by 41-60, 61-80, and 0-20 years old. The most intestinal parasites were found in the young and middle-aged patients, according to this study. Different parasites were identified as Entamoeba histolytica, Taenia species, Ascaris lumbricoides, Cryptosporidium parvum and Isospora with one protozoan, two coccidian parasites and two helminthes. The most common parasite was Taenia species 6 (7.5%) followed by Entamoeba histolytica 5 (6.3%) and Cryptosporidium parvum 5 (6.3%). Intestinal parasitic infection is not uncommon in HIV seropositive patients. This study underscores the need for early diagnosis and treatment of these intestinal parasites in both symptomatic and asymptomatic HIV patients.
HIV/AIDS, parasites, infection
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