• Kashi Nath Prasad
  • Jyotsna Agarwal


The relative importance of bacterial infections as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been increasingly recognized since prophylaxis against opportunistic pathogens has improved. In a chart review of 126 deaths in HIV-infected patients, bacterial infections were the most common cause accounting for immediate death in 30% of cases [1]. The gastrointestinal tract is a major target organ in HIV-infected patients and diarrhea is the most common gastrointestinal symptom. Diarrhea affects 30%–50% and up to 90% of patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in developed and developing countries, respectively. Bacterial pathogens are causative agents in more than 20% of cases of diarrhea in AIDS patients [2]. In most cases, diarrhea may wax and wane in AIDS patients but is usually chronic and associated with significant morbidity, including wasting and cachexia. Specific pathogens can be identified by a thorough diagnostic evaluation in 44%–85% of patients with chronic diarrhea, and up to 10% of them have multiple concomitant organisms [2]. Although the organisms most commonly identified in AIDS patients with chronic diarrhea are opportunistic pathogens such as Cryptosporidium, Isospora, microsporidia, and Mycobacterium avium complex etc., the usual pathogens that also affect immunocompetent individuals, such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Shigella species and some other bacterial pathogens, are reported to be more frequently involved in HIV-positive patients. These infections are often more severe, recurrent, and associated with extraintestinal complications.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Patient Shigella Species Alkaline Peptone Water Eosin Methylene Blue Agar 
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Authors and Affiliations

  • Kashi Nath Prasad
  • Jyotsna Agarwal

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