Pulmonary aspergillosis as opportunistic mycoses in a cohort of human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients: Report from a tertiary care hospital in North India

Ravinder Kaur, Bhanu Mehra, Megh Singh Dhakad, Ritu Goyal, Richa Dewan


Objective: The incidence of pulmonary aspergillosis in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons is rising. This study was designed to determine the prevalence of pulmonary aspergillosis in a cohort of HIV-positive patients (n = 71) presenting with lower respiratory tract infection at a tertiary care medical center in India.
Methods: Sputum samples were collected, and potassium hydroxide mount, cultural characteristics, and lactophenol cotton blue preparations were employed to aid in the identification of Aspergillus species. In addition, serum galactomannan antigen testing was also performed.
Results: Pulmonary aspergillosis was diagnosed in 7 patients, five of whom showed a positive antigenemia indicating invasive form of disease. The prevalence of pulmonary aspergillosis was highest in individuals 21-40 years of age (13.3%). The gender-wise prevalence of pulmonary aspergillosis was 18.7% and 7.7% in females and males, respectively. The common chest radiographic findings noted in patients with pulmonary aspergillosis included a normal chest radiograph in 3 (42.8%), infiltrates in 2 (28.6%), and pleural effusion in 2 (28.6%). The common Aspergillus species recovered from sputa of these patients were Aspergillus flavus (4; 57.1%); Aspergillus fumigatus (2; 28.6%), and Aspergillus niger (1; 14.3%). A predisposing lung condition in the form of pulmonary tuberculosis was identified in 2; Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in 2 and a dual tubercular and P. carinii infection in one. The mean CD4 count of these patients was 155.86 ± 119.33 cells/μl (median = 117 cells/μl; range = 18-329 cells/μl).
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that Aspergillus species be considered possible etiological agents in HIV-positive patients with pulmonary infection.


Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, Aspergillus, human immunodeficiency virus, galactomannan, pulmonary

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