A survey of the frequency of cytomegalovirus-associated diarrhea in immunocompromised patients using a non-invasive method
AbstractBackground and Objectives: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is the most common viral opportunistic infection causing gastrointestinal diseases such diarrhea and colitis in immunocompromised patients. The development and performance of a robust and sensitive PCR assay are usually evaluated to detect CMV DNA in human fecal specimens. In this study, our aim was to detect CMV DNA in stool samples taken from patients with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and transplant recipient patients with chronic and persistent diarrhea using a non-invasive method.Materials and Methods: A total of 633 immunocompromised patients (451 males and 182 females) suffering from persistent or chronic diarrhea were included in this study. Among them, 392 were HIV/AIDS patients, 151 had cancer and were receiving chemotherapy, and 90 were recipients of a solid organ or bone marrow transplant. CMV genome was extracted from the stool samples using phenol: chloroform: isoamyl alcohol method. CMV DNA was identified by polymerase chain reaction using sequence specific primers on genomic DNA.Results: Looking at the frequency of CMV DNA in 392 HIV/AIDS patients, we found that only 5 patients (1.27%) were positive for CMV genome, while this frequency was 4.63% (7/151) and 5.5% (5/90) in patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy and in those with solid organ or bone marrow transplant, respectively.Conclusion: The results of this study revealed that the cause of chronic or persistent diarrhea in HIV/AIDS, cancer, and graft recipient patients might be related to CMV infection. Accordingly, we recommend a non-invasive method, such as stool sample, as a first line of diagnosis of enteritis when the physician suspects that a patient has CMV infection.
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