Seroprevalence of Toxoplasmosis in HIV+/AIDS Patients in Iran
Toxoplasma gondii has arisen as an important opportunistic agent especially in the central nervous system and in advanced HIV disease can cause significant morbidity and mortality. This study was carried out to determine the seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis among HIV-positive patients in Iran. Blood samples were collected from 201 HIV-positive patients and anti-toxoplasma antibodies were detected by using conventional ELISA. An antibody titer of >3 IU/ml was considered positive. The majority of studied patients were male (male to female ratio: 5 to 1) with the mean age of 36 ± 1 yrs. The seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in HIV-positive patients was 49.75%. The mean CD4 count in HIV patients with positive toxoplasma serology was 332.5 ± 22.4 cells/µl. Only 1% of the patients had IgM anti-toxoplasma antibodies and 10% of the patients had clinical toxoplasma encephalitis. The mean CD4 count in this group was 66.4 ± 15.5 cells/µl and there was a significant association between CD4 count and rate of toxoplasma encephalitis (P<0.001). Previous reports suggested that toxoplasma encephalitis could be prevented by appropriate chemoprophylaxis. In view of the relatively high prevalence of toxoplasma infection found among the HIVinfected patients in our study, we suggest that routine screening for toxoplasma should be undertaken for all HIV-infected patients in Iran.
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