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Isolation and evaluation of <i>Candida</i> species and their association with CD4<sup>+</sup> T cells counts in HIV patients with diarrhoea

Ayobami Awoyeni
Olarinde Olaniran
Babatunde Odetoyin
Rachel Hassan-Olajokun
Bolatito Olopade
David Afolayan
Oluwakayode Adekunle


Background: Gastrointestinal infection is one of the most common infections among HIV patients. Candida spp have been implicated in the aetiology of chronic diarrhoea in HIV patients, but little is known about this in Nigeria.

Objectives: We determined the prevalence of faecal candidiasis in HIV patients in relation to diarrhoea, CD4 counts, and other socio-demographic factors and the spectrum of Candida isolates involved.

Methods: One hundred and fifty four HIV patients were investigated. Candida species were identified by standard techniques. Socio-demographic and clinical information was obtained from the patients using a structured questionnaire. The CD4 count was estimated using a single platform flow cytometer.

Results: Candida overgrowth was detected in 61 (39.5%) HIV patients, and diarrhoea was associated with candidiasis in the subjects (P=0.001). Candidiasis was commonly detected among subjects in the 29-39 years’ age group. A CD4 count below 200 cells/mm2 (62.3%) was a risk factor for acquiring candidiasis among HIV patients (P=0.001). Candida albicans (65.6%) was the most frequently recovered species followed by Candida krusei (16.4%) and Candida tropicalis (14.8%).

Conclusion: Candidiasis is an important opportunistic infection in HIV-patients in Ile-Ife. There is need for regular checks for opportunistic infections, including candidiasis in HIV patients to monitor disease progression and prevent subsequent complications.

Keywords: Candida species, CD4+ T cells counts, HIV, diarrhoea