Fungal infections, also called mycoses, are important causes of morbidity and mortality in humans. Fungal opportunistic pathogens can lead to many of the complications seen in advanced HIV disease and are commonly identified in HIV-infected populations with decreased immune function. This research was therefore aimed at determining the opportunistic fungal infections associated with HIV/AIDS patients receiving antiretroviral therapy at the Pepfar Clinic, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), Maiduguri, Nigeria. Patients completed questionnaires to record information on age, gender, site of infection, residence, level of education and occupation. A total of three (300) symptomatic confirmed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive individuals comprising of 158 (52.67%) females and 142 (47.33%) males were included in this study. The specimens were collected from the hair clipping, nail scrapings, oral lesions, skin scraping, sputum and vaginal fluid. Clinical specimens were aseptically inoculated onto Sabouraud’s Dextrose Agar (SDA) containing chloramphenicol and incubated at room temperature and at 37°C for seven to fourteen days. Fungi recovered were identified using direct examination, morphological features on culture media, microscopic appearance and Germ tube formation. Out of three hundred clinical specimens analyzed, 53.67% (161/300) were found to be positive with single and mixed fungal growth while the remaining 139 (46.33%) were negative. Out of one hundred and forty four fungal isolated (144), Aspergillus species was the most predominant, 58 (40.29%), followed by Candida albicans, 28 (19.44%), Candida species, 26 (18.06%), Penicillium species, 16 (11.10%), Trycophyton species, 11 (7.64%) and the least was Epidermophyton species, 5 (3.46%). The results were analyzed by STATA 10 software, p-values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. Significant association was found between fungal colonization with age group using the one way analysis of variance (ANOVA), p-value 0.0161. The association of fungal infection with gender and marital status were not statistically significant with the P-values 0.8300 and 0.4169, respectively. Therefore, this study recommends routine mycological investigations in HIV infected patients with fungal infections for better management of infection together with the analysis of their immune status for better management of opportunistic infections in these patients.
Keywords: Fungal infections, HIV positive individuals, mycosis, Candida.