Objectives: Penicillium marneffei, the causative agent of Penicilliosis is a common opportunistic fungal infection in AIDS patients in Manipur. A preliminary study was conducted to determine the prevalence of P. marneffei and to study its co- relation with CD4 count from AIDS patients in Manipur.
Methods: A total of 200 samples from 161 patients – 17 HIV positive and 144 AIDS patients attending the Microbiology Department of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal for CD4 and CD8 count and from the different wards of RIMS hospital were studied for P. marneffei infection. The samples included skin scrapings (60), sputum induced (10), sputum coughed out (100), corneal swabs (9), pleural fluid (7) and lymph node aspirates (5). They were processed by observing under 20% KOH mount for the presence of round oval or sausage shaped yeast cells with characteristic septation. Culture was done on two Sabouraud’s Dextrose agar (SDA) with chloramphenicol and incubated at 37oC and 25o C for two weeks. The isolates were identified by the conventional method. CD4 / CD8 count was estimated by using FACS count system (Becton Dickinson).
Results: P. marneffei was isolated from 18(11.18%) AIDS patients. Mixed infection of P. marneffei with one or more fungi was observed in 9 (5.5%). CD4 cell counts of patients were in the range of (6 – 182 cells/µl).
Conclusion: This study provides supportive evidence of the prevalence of P. marneffei which was 11.18% amongst the AIDS patients of Manipur. Moreover, the fungus was isolated \mainly from full blown AIDS patients with low CD4 count.
Prof. Dr. Bilal BİLGİN