Prevalence of enteric pathogens, intestinal parasites and resistance profile of bacterial isolates among HIV infected and non-infected diarrheic patients in Dessie Town, Northeast Ethiopia

PLoS One. 2020 Dec 15;15(12):e0243479. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0243479. eCollection 2020.


Background: Enteric pathogens like Salmonella and Shigella species as well as intestinal parasites (IPs) are among the main causative agents of diarrhea in people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), particularly in low income countries like Ethiopia. Antimicrobial resistance against commonly prescribed drugs has become a major global threat. This study, therefore, aimed at determining the magnitude of Salmonella, Shigella and IPs infections, their predicting factors, and antimicrobial susceptibility pattern among HIV infected and non-infected diarrheic patients in Dessie town, Northeast Ethiopia.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted at three health facilities in Northeast Ethiopia between January 2018 and March 2018. Data on socio-demographic and associated risk factors were collected using structured questionnaire from 354 HIV infected and non-infected diarrheic outpatients. Fresh stool specimen was processed according to standard operating procedures. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 22. Descriptive statistics was used to determine frequency, Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify predicting factors associated with the outcome variable. P-value <0.05 were used to declare statistical significance.

Results: Among 354 diarrheic patients, 112 were HIV infected and 242 were HIV non-infected. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasite and bacterial infection among HIV infected versus non-infected, respectively, was 26 (23.2%) and 8 (7.1%) versus 50 (20.7) and 16 (6.6%). Salmonella was the highest in both groups, 6 (5.4%) vs 11 (4.5%). Most prevalent parasite was C. parvum, 9 (8%) among HIV+ while E. histolytica/dispar 39 (16.1%) among HIV-. Having bloody plus mucoid diarrhea, not utilizing latrine and drinking river or spring water were factors significantly associated with bacterial infection. Whereas, being illiterate or having primary level education, diarrhea lasting for 6-10 days, CD4 level between 200-500 cells/μl, not washing hand with soap showed significant association with IPs. The bacterial isolates were 100% susceptible to Ceftriaxone and 95.4% to Ciprofloxacin, while 100% resistant to Ampicillin and Amoxicillin. MDR was observed among 19 (79.2%) isolates.

Conclusion: Preventing and controlling infection by enteric pathogens as well as IPs require strengthening intervention measures. The 100% resistance of isolates to commonly prescribed antibiotics calls for expanding antimicrobial susceptibility testing so as to select appropriate antimicrobial agent and prevent emergence of drug resistant bacteria.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Bacterial Infections / diagnosis*
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cryptosporidium parvum / isolation & purification
  • Diarrhea / complications
  • Diarrhea / diagnosis*
  • Diarrhea / microbiology
  • Diarrhea / parasitology
  • Drinking Water / microbiology
  • Drinking Water / parasitology
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / drug effects
  • Ethiopia / epidemiology
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / complications
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / diagnosis*
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Drinking Water

Grants and funding

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.