Absence of an association between enteric parasites in the manifestations and pathogenesis of HIV enteropathy in gay men. The GI/HIV Study Group

Scand J Infect Dis. 1992;24(5):567-75. doi: 10.3109/00365549209054642.


49 gay men confirmed to be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and 9 HIV seronegative gay men participated in a pilot study comparing clinical status and enteric parasite load with gastrointestinal structure, function and symptomatology. Cases included 16/49 (33%) men who were CDC stage II, 7/49 (14%) who were CDC stage III, and 26/49 (53%) who were CDC stage IV. The mean CD4-lymphocyte count was 476 +/- 199 (SD)/microliter. The prevalence of enteric parasitic flora was similar in HIV seropositive patients and controls. Seven cases had enteric infection with pathogenic agents including 3 patients with Entamoeba histolytica, and 4 patients with Giardia lamblia, one of whom also had cryptosporidiosis. Other cases were most frequently colonized with Blastocystis hominis (44%) and Endolimax nana (41%) regardless of the HIV clinical status. HIV seropositive patients with enteric parasitic colonization tended to have lower mean levels of serum IgA than cases without parasites. Duodenal morphometric mucosal changes demonstrated a significant decrease in the mean villous height (p < 0.01) with no elongation of the crypt depth in HIV-infected patients with and without diarrhea compared to controls. Despite gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhea and weight loss being more prevalent in HIV infected individuals than controls, no correlations were found between the presence of particular enteric parasites, gastrointestinal symptomatology, the clinical HIV status of the CD4-lymphocyte count, the malabsorption of D-xylose or morphometric changes in the duodenum.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Blastocystis Infections / blood
  • Blastocystis Infections / complications*
  • Blastocystis hominis
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dysentery, Amebic / blood
  • Dysentery, Amebic / complications*
  • Endolimax
  • Giardiasis / blood
  • Giardiasis / complications*
  • HIV Seropositivity / blood
  • HIV Seropositivity / complications*
  • Homosexuality
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects