oa African Journal of Laboratory Medicine - Prevalence, intensity and complications of Microsporidium spores amongst HIV-positive hospital patients in Ilorin, Nigeria : original research

Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2225-2002
  • E-ISSN: 2225-2010



Microsporidiasis, which is of great concern for immunocompromised patients, is poorly studied in developing countries.

A study was carried out amongst HIV-positive hospital patients and HIV-negative hospital controls in Ilorin, Nigeria, between January 2009 and July 2010 to determine the prevalence and intensity of spores and the complications associated with their presence.
Stool samples from 750 HIV-positive patients and 375 HIV-negative patients were studied using the Chromotrope-2R staining technique. Determination of CD4+ count was performed on the Partec Cyflow SL-3 CD4/8 instrument. Intensity of spores was determined by counting the total number of the spores in a 10 µl stained smear of stool. Images were captured with Phenix Microimage Analysis Software and data obtained were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.
The prevalence of isolates amongst the HIV-positive hospital patients was significantly higher (42.4%) than amongst the HIV-negative controls (19.2%) ( < 0.05). The intensity of microsporidial spores amongst HIV-positive hospital patients was also significantly higher than amongst the controls ( < 0.05). However, the difference in the intensity of spores amongst HIV-positive patients who were on antiretroviral therapy ( = 411) and those who were not ( = 339) was not significant ( = 0.236). Microsporidiasis in HIV infection infection was common amongst patients with with low CD4+ counts, diarrhoea, body rashes and cough.
Both the prevalence and intensity of Microsporidiasis are high amongst HIV-positive hospital patients; campaigns to promote awareness, prevention and control are required. Laboratory testing for microsporidia in HIV patients should be performed routinely so as to identify the organism for prompt medical attention.

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