Current Fungal Prevalence in HIV/AIDS Patients in Nigeria and the Susceptibility of the Isolates to Conventional Antifungal Agents and Medicinal Plant Extracts Used in the Locality to Treat/Control Secondary Infections Due to These Organisms

Emeze Nweze, Victor Nkpuma, Josephine Okafor.

Author address: 

1Department of Microbiology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu state, Nigeria; 2Department of Applied Microbiology, Ebonyi State University, Abakiliki, Nigeria


Background: In Nigeria, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has reached an alarming level and more persons get infected on daily basis. One of the major problems of this epidemic is the opportunistic infections usually associated to it. With no cure in sight, it has been suggested that the best practice is to limit the secondary infections as much as possible. In several developing countries, not many studies have been conducted to ascertain the level of involvement of some of these opportunistic pathogens; and where substantial studies have been carried out, there is need to monitor the trend considering that in recent times, several new and relatively strange microorganisms have been reportedly isolated from similar patients. Objectives: To ascertain the prevalence of secondary fungal infections in HIV/AIDS patients in Nigeria at the moment and the susceptibility of the isolates to some conventional and non-conventional (ethanolic medicinal plant extracts) antifungal agents. These medicinal plant extracts, though in use by some patients, have not been tested against isolates obtained directly from HIV/AIDS patients. Methods: Oral and nasal swabs collected from different categories of HIV/AIDS patients attending different hospitals and samples were plated on general purpose medium for fungi. Relevant subculturessubcultures were made and identified. MICs of the antimicrobial agents were determined following the CLSI guidelines. Prior to this, some of the medicinal plants collected from the patients were identified and prepared using standard methods. Results: Several fungal isolates viz: Candida albicans and Nonalbicans Candida species which showed similar prevalence, followed by Aspergillus, Cryptococcus, Histoplasma and Scedosporium species. Other rare fungal species not previously reported in our patients had a total prevalence of 20%.They were mainly environmental pathogens which may have evolved by ecological shift. Compared to our previous data, resistance is still on the increase. However, medicinal plant extracts showed promising activities on some of the isolates which were hitherto resistant to some of the conventional agents. Conclusions: Some new organisms are increasingly getting involved as secondary pathogens in HIV/AIDS patients in Nigeria. There is need to continue to monitor and report the trend so as to assist clinicians in handling these patients.

abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

15th International Symposium on Infections in the Immunocompromised Host
    • ISIIH 15th