Prevalence of intestinal parasites in anaemic and non-anaemic Nigerian patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome
AbstractSixty patients with AIDS were compared with equal number of healthy seronegative (HSN) subjects with respect to the prevalence and pattern of intestinal parasites. Among patients with AIDS, the prevalence rates for single, multiple and overall parasites were 20%, 53.3% and 73.3% respectively, which were significantly (p<0.05) higher than the corresponding rates of 8.3%, 15% and 23.3% found among HSN subjects. Up to 78.3% of AIDS patients studied in this report were found to be anaemic. The overall prevalence rate of parasites among the anaemic patients was 76.6%, which was significantly (p<0.05) higher than the corresponding rate of 61.5% seen among the non-anaemic patients. The individual parasite prevalence rates of Ascaris lumbricoides and Taenia saginata were 35% and 31.7% respectively among patients with AIDS, and 6.7% and 8.3% respectively among HSN subjects; the differences in prevalence rates of these two parasites between patients with AIDS and the HSN subjects were not significant. However, other parasites found in this study included Ancylostoma duodenale, Trichuris trichiura, Hymenolopse nana, Strongyloides stercoralis, Enterobius vermicularis, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lambia and Entamoeba coli, which had prevalence rates of 35%, 18.3%, 16.7%, 15%, 21.7%, 20% and 13.3% respectively among patients with AIDS, these prevalence rates were significantly higher than the corresponding rates of 11.7%, 5%, 3.3%, 6.7%, 3.3%, 3.3%, 0% and 0% found among the HSN subjects. The result of this study suggests that AIDS increase the risk of acquiring intestinal parasites, which would cause or aggravate any pre-existing anaemia in such patients. Therefore, patients with AIDS should be regularly evaluated with stool microscopy for early detection and treatment of parasitic infections.
Keywords: AIDS, intestinal parasites, anaemia
Nigerian Journal of Parasitology Vol. 25, 2004: 15-20