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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 57-63

The pattern Of CD4 + T-lymphocyte count in under-5 children with protein energy malnutrition with or without HIV infection

1 Department of Paediatrics, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, PMB 2370, Sokoto, Nigeria
2 Department of Microbiology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, PMB 2370, Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
N M Jiya
Department of Paediatrics, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto
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Background: Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM), a major public health problem in the developing countries, has been associated with impaired cell-mediated immunity. Objectives: To describe the pattern ofCD4* T-lymphocyte count among malnourished children in relation to HIV infection. Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study conducted among children aged 6 months to 59 months with PEM seen at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto between 1 st November, 2009 and 30 th April, 2010. The age, sex and weight of the subjects were documented. The CD4*T-lymphocyte count was determined using Partec cytoflow machine and HIV infection was confirmed with ELISA for children > 1-8 months and DNA PCR for those aged <18 months. Results: One-hundred children with PEM were recruited over a 6 month period. The mean age (#177;SD) was 19.8#177;9.2 months. Ninety-seven were aged < 3years with M: F ratio of 1.8:1.0. HIV infection was detected in twenty-seven of these children and 48.1% of the HIV infected had marasmus. The mean CD4* T-lymphocyte count in children with PEM without HIV infection was 1864.8 #177; 705.3 cells/pL compared to significantly lower mean count of 747.7+361.7 cells/pL among those with PEM with coexisting HIV infection (t= - 7.8, p= 0.0001). The mean CD4* T-lymphocyte count was significantly lower in children with PEM, particularly those with marasmus (p= 0.0001), and with coexisting HIV infection {p- 0.0001). Conclusion: The CD4* T-lymphocyte count was low among under-5 children with PEM. This depletion in CD4* T-lymphocyte count is further worsened by HIV infection among the children with PEM.

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