Background: Intestinal protozoa transmitted by food are the most common opportunistic parasites among the HIV+/AIDS patients. As, there is no report about prevalence of food-borne intestinal parasites in such patients in Yazd, so this study was performed to determine the prevalence of intestinal protozoa in the HIV+/AIDS patients in comparison with HIV- individuals.
Methods: A case-control study was conducted from July 2015 to March 2016. Totally, 73 patients (group I) were involved from the Prevention of Behavioral Disorders Center, Yazd, central of Iran. A control group (group II) comprised 147 HIV- individuals. After collecting the stool samples; wet mount, concentration method, and modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining was performed. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS 16.0 by Chi-Square and Fisher tests.
Results: Detected food-borne protozoa in HIV+/AIDS patients were included Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, Blastocystis hominis,Chilomastix mesnili, Endolimax nana, and Entamoeba coli. Overall, out of 73 cases in group I, 34.2% were infected with intestinal food-borne protozoa compared with 4.1% (out of 147 cases) infection rate in group II, which showed significant difference (p<0.05). There were no significant differences between sex and incidence rate of parasitic protozoan infection between groups I and II. However, a meaningful relationship was found between age and incidence rate of parasitic infection (p<0.05).
Conclusion: It is emphasized the necessity of increasing awareness among clinicians regarding the occurrence of the food-borne parasites in this population. Considering their susceptibility, HIV+/AIDS individuals should be educated regarding high importance of food and water safety and disinfecting protocols of suspected and hazardous foods (especially unwashed vegetables and fruits) to prevent intestinal parasitic diseases.