Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori in HIV-infected, HAART-naïve Ugandan children: a hospital-based survey
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background: The aim of this survey was to determine the prevalence of and factors associated with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) colonization in HIV-infected, highly active antiretroviral therapy-naïve Ugandan children aged 0-12 years. Methods: In a hospital-based survey, 236 HIV-infected children were tested for H. pylori colonization using a faecal antigen test. A standardized interview with socio-demographic information and medical history was used to assess risk factors. A cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) cell percentage was prevalent in most children. Results: The overall prevalence of H. pylori in the HIV-infected children was 22.5%. Age-specific prevalence was as follows: up to one year, 14.7%; 1-3 years, 30.9%; and 3-12 years, 20.7%. HIV-infected children who were more seriously affected by their disease (low CD4 cell percentage or WHO clinical stage II-IV) were less likely to be colonized with H. pylori. There was a trend for a lower prevalence of H. pylori in children who had taken antibiotics for the preceding two weeks (21.6%) than in those who had not taken antibiotics (35.7%). There was no statistically significant difference in prevalence by gender, housing, congested living, education of the female caretaker, drinking water or toilet facilities. Conclusions: HIV-infected, HAART-naïve Ugandan children had a lower prevalence of H. pylori colonization compared with apparently healthy Ugandan children (44.3%). Children with a low CD4 cell percentage and an advanced clinical stage of HIV had an even lower risk of H. pylori colonization. Treatment with antibiotics due to co-morbidity with infectious diseases is a possible explanation for the relatively low prevalence.