Intestinal microsporidiosis in diarrheal patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus-1 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.Jpn J Infect Dis. 2006 Oct; 59(5):306-10.JJ
Intestinal microsporidiosis is most commonly associated with persistent diarrhea in advanced AIDS cases. To determine the prevalence and clinical manifestations of this infection in HIV/AIDS patients, a single fresh stool sample and blood were collected from 243 (214 HIV-positive and 29 HIV-negative) diarrheal patients. The presence of intestinal microsporidiosis in the stool was determined by Uvitex-2B staining and a PCR-based detection method. HIV screening was done by using ELISA, and reactive samples were confirmed by Western blotting. The CD4+ cell count was analyzed using FACScan. Out of 243 diarrheal patients, 39 (16.0%) cases were positive for intestinal microsporidial infection by either of the methods used. Of the 39, only 18 cases positive by microscopy were also positive by PCR. Based on PCR and microscopic analyses the microsporidial parasites were identified as Enterocytozoon bieneusi (30), Ecephalitozoon intestinalis (6), and double infections (3). All microsporidia-positive cases were HIV-positive, and 92.3% had diarrhea for over 4 weeks. The diarrhea was watery in 79.5% of the patients. Weight loss >10% was recorded in 37 (94.9%) cases. The CD4+ cell count was <100 cells/mm(3) in 84.4% of subjects, and 59.4% of the patients had a CD4+ cell count of < or =50 cells/mm(3), with a mean of 22.8 cells/mm(3). This study revealed that intestinal microsporidiosis is a common cause of chronic diarrhea and severe weight loss in advanced AIDS patients in Ethiopia. This condition is attributable mainly to E. bieneusi. Thus, early diagnosis of intestinal microsporidiosis in HIV/AIDS patients would certainly be helpful in the understanding and management of diarrheal illness.