Clinical Correlates of Diarrhea and Gut Parasites among Human Immunodeficiency Virus Seropositive Patients
Recent Advances in Biology and Medicine
Cluster differentiation 4 (CD4) count estimation, which is not readily available in most resource poor settings in Nigeria, is an important indexdetermining commencement of antiretroviral therapy (ART). It is imperative for physicians who come in contact with these patients in such settings to recognize other parameters to evaluate these patients. The clinical correlates of diarrhea and gut parasites among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive patients attending our special treatment
... linic were studied. Three hundred and forty consenting HIV-positive adult subjects were enrolled. Their stool and blood specimens were collected for a period of three months. Stool samples were analyzed for the presence of diarrhea and gut parasites. The patients were clinically evaluated by physical examination for the presence of pallor, dehydration, oral thrush, wasting lymphadenopathy, dermatitis, skin hyperpigmentation, and finger clubbing. Participants with diarrhea represented 14.1% of the population, while 21.5% harbored one or more parasites. In the subjects with diarrhea, 14.6% harbored gut parasites. The presence of diarrhea was associated with a low CD4 count. Clinically, oral thrush, wasting, and rashes were more reliable predictors of low CD4 count levels; whereas, the presence of pallor, dehydration, wasting, and rashes correlated with the presence of diarrhea. HIV patients presenting with pallor, dehydration, wasting, and rashes should be evaluated for the presence of diarrhea. The clinical variables associated with low CD4 count in this study may guide commencing antiretroviral therapy in resource poor settings.