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This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of cryptosporidiosis in relation to CD4+ T- lymphocyte counts of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria using formol ether concentration and saturated sodium chloride floatation techniques, modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining method, history as well as clinical records of patients. A total of 280 PLWHA attending voluntary counselling and testing as well as those receiving anti-retroviral drugs at the Faith Alive Foundation were sampled for this study. Of this 66.0 (23.6%) were positive for cryptosporidiosis. Based on age group, prevalence rates were highest among 31-40 years 34.9% (23/66). This was followed by 30.2% (13/43) among age group 11-20 years, while the lowest 10.0% (6/60) was recorded among 21-30. Females recorded a higher prevalence 25.0% (35/140) than males 22.1% (31/140) which was statistically insignificant (p>0.05). Based on CD4+ count, the highest prevalence of 54.8% (23/42) was observed among patients with CD4+ count of ≤100. This was followed by 501-600 with 40.0% (2/5), and the lowest prevalence of 9.3% (9/97) was observed among 201-300. Patients with diarrhoea were associated with the highest prevalence of cryptosporidiosis 23.6% (66/280), while the lowest prevalence of 2.1% (6/280) was observed among patients with skin lesions. A total of 164 of the PLWHA showed one clinical sign or the other. Patients with diarrhoea recorded the highest prevalence of 83.3% (55/66) for cryptosporidiosis which was statistically significant. This was followed by patients that presented vomiting 25.0% (4/16), while the lowest prevalence 11.1% (1/9) was observed among patients with oral thrush. Patients with both weight loss and rashes recorded zero prevalence for the infection. This study confirms the opportunistic nature of Cryptosporidium species among PLWHA and the association of these parasites in the diarrhoea of this group of people.
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Author(s): Pam VA Dakul DA Karshima NS Igeh CP
Cryptosporidiosis, Cryptosporidium, HIV/AIDS, CD4+ T- lymphocyte count, opportunistic parasites