Status of pulmonary fungal pathogens among individuals with clinical features of pulmonary tuberculosis at Mbarara University Teaching Hospital in Southwestern Uganda
Njovu, Israel Kiiza
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Pulmonary mycoses are important diseases of the respiratory tract caused by pulmonary fungal pathogens. These pathogens are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality rates worldwide; however, less attention has been paid to them. In this study we determined the prevalence of pulmonary fungal pathogens among individuals with clinical features of pulmonary tuberculosis at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. This was a hospital based cross sectional survey. Sputum samples were collected from each study participant. For each sample, the following tests were performed: Sabouraud dextrose agar for fungal culture, GeneXpert for Mycobacteria tuberculosis (MTB) and potassium hydroxide for fungal screening. Filamentous fungal growth and yeasts were further examined with lactophenol cotton blue staining and germ tube respectively. Out of 113 study participants, 80 (70.7%) had pulmonary fungal pathogens whilst those with pulmonary tuberculosis numbered five (4.4%). Candida albicans [21 (22.58%)] and Aspergillus species [16 (17.20%)] were the pathogens most identified among others. Two (1.7%) TB GeneXpert positive participants had fungal pathogens isolated from their sputum samples. We established a prevalence of 57 (71.3%) for pulmonary fungal pathogen (PFP) isolates, three (60.0%) for MTB in HIV positive patients and 18 (22.5%) for PFP, and zero (0.0%) for MTB in HIV negative patients. On the other hand, two (100%) HIV positive patients had both PFP isolates and MTB.Our findings highlight the diversity of neglected pulmonary fungal pathogens whose known medical importance in causing pulmonary mycoses cannot be overemphasised. Therefore this presents a need for routine diagnosis for pulmonary mycoses among TB suspects and set-up of antimicrobial profile for pulmonary fungal isolates to support clinical management of these cases.
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