Prevalence of pulmonary cryptococcosis in hiv/aids patients
Cryptococcus neoformans causes both pulmonary and meninges infection in healthy and immunocompromised hosts. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of pulmonary cryptococcosis in HIV/AIDS patients and assess the clinical presentations due to the infection. The subjects recruited for this study were confirmed HIV/AIDS patients, presenting with pneumonia complications. The demographic and clinical features were abstracted from the medical records and administered questionnaire. Early morning sputum samples were collected from the patients and examined by bacteriological methods. The isolated Cryptococcus neoformans were sub-cultured onto thistle bird seed agar and the identity was confirmed with API 20C Kit. Out of 250 patients investigated, 47 (18.8%) had pulmonary cryptococcosis. The C.neoformans isolates were more in females, 26 (10.4%) than the males, 21 (8.4%), while the age group of 20-40 years old had 39 (15.6%) isolates. The clinical features that were associated with the pulmonary cryptococcosis were the production
of purulent and bloody sputum, and fever. The patients with prolonged duration of HIV/AIDS and are not on HAART regimens had higher C.neoformans isolates. The isolation of C.neoformans from HIV/AIDS patients is a major public health concern, since it complicates
the severity of the disease. There is a need for routine check of pulmonary cryptococcosis, especially, in those who do not avail themselves for antiretroviral therapy.
Keywords: Cryptococcus neoformans, Cryptoccosis, HIV/AIDS, HAART, Thistle bird seed agar.