Spectrum of opportunistic infections with correlation to CD4 counts in newly diagnosed HIV seropositive cases


  • Ajay Kumar Sarvepalli Department of General medicine, Narayana Medical College, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Prakash Kalakappa Dharana Department of General medicine, Narayana Medical College, Andhra Pradesh, India




AIDS, CD4 counts, HIV, Opportunistic infections, Tuberculosis


Background: A rise in HIV/AIDS is observed in resource poor countries like India despite successful implementation of control programmes. Most of these deaths recorded in cases of AIDS are because of opportunistic infections [OI] and other malignancies. The reason may be attributed to the effective destruction or decrease in CD4 cells which play a pivotal role in immune system. OI cause substantial morbidity and hospitalization, economical loss to the society and shorten the survival time of HIV patient. The objective of this study was to evaluate the different type of infections and identify the frequent pathogens affecting the HIV patients who are attending a tertiary care hospital in India. The clinical profile of these patients was studied and proportion of CD4 counts with respect to their type of infection and pathogen is also evaluated.

Methods: A prospective cross sectional study was conducted for one year period. Clinical samples were collected from all the newly diagnosed cases of HIV and performed various staining techniques and cultured on appropriate culture media.  All the isolates were identified as per standard guidelines. Serological evaluation for IgM antibodies for toxoplasma was done by ELISA. CD4 counts were estimated by FACS.

Results: Tuberculosis was the commonest (67%) OI in HIV cases, followed by candidiasis (61.5%), respiratory tract infections (50%), gastro intestinal tract infections (44%) and meningitis (38%) in our study. The mean CD4 cell counts in the study was 267.11cells/µl. The commonest fungal pathogen was C.albicans and Cryptosporidium parvum the parasitic pathogen. The mean CD4 cell counts were lesser in parasitic infections when compared to bacterial and fungal infections. Six cases of P.jiroveci pneumonia were identified in our study. Mortality was recorded among the HIV cases with CD4 cell counts <50 cells/ µl.

Conclusions: Early diagnosis and prompt treatment of OIs contributes to increased life expectancy among infected patients, delaying the progression to AIDS. This study helps the clinicians in proper guidance to come up with right diagnosis and early response to manage the patients in resource poor countries like India.


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