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01.12.2012 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

Malaria Journal 1/2012

Prevalence and clinical features of HIV and malaria co-infection in hospitalized adults in Beira, Mozambique

Malaria Journal > Ausgabe 1/2012
Annalisa Saracino, Edy A Nacarapa, Ézio A da Costa Massinga, Domenico Martinelli, Marco Scacchetti, Carlos de Oliveira, Anita Antonich, Donata Galloni, Josefo J Ferro, César A Macome
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

AS and MS conceived of the study and participated in its design and coordination; AS drafted the manuscript. EAN, EACM, CdO and CM were responsible for data collection and participated to the study design. DM performed the statistical analysis. AA, DG, JF participated in the study coordination, interpretation of data and revised the paper critically. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Mozambique presents a very high prevalence of both malaria and HIV infection, but the impact of co-cancel infection on morbidity in this population has been rarely investigated. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence and clinical characteristics of malaria in hospitalized adult HIV-positive patients, treated and untreated with combination anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and cotrimoxazole (CTX)-based chemoprophylaxis, compared to HIV negatives.


From November to December 2010, all adult patients consecutively admitted to the Department of Internal Medicine of Beira Central Hospital, Sofala Province, Mozambique, were submitted to HIV testing, malaria blood smear (MBS) and, in a subgroup of patients, also to the rapid malaria test (RDT). Socio-demographical and clinical data were collected for all patients. The association of both a positive MBS and/or RDT and diagnosis of clinical malaria with concomitant HIV infection (and use of CTX and/or ART) was assessed statistically. Frequency of symptoms and hematological alterations in HIV patients with clinical malaria compared to HIV negatives was also analysed. Sensitivity and specificity for RDT versus MBS were calculated for both HIV-positive and negative patients.


A total of 330 patients with available HIV test and MBS were included in the analysis, 220 of whom (66.7%) were HIV-positive. In 93 patients, malaria infection was documented by MBS and/or RDT. RDT sensitivity and specificity were 94% and 96%, respectively. According to laboratory results, the initial malaria suspicion was discarded in about 10% of cases, with no differences between HIV-positive and negative patients. A lower malaria risk was significantly associated with CTX prophylaxis (p=0.02), but not with ART based on non nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). Overall, severe malaria seemed to be more common in HIV-positive patients (61.7%) compared to HIV-negatives (47.2%), while a significantly lower haemoglobin level was observed in the group of HIV-positive patients (9.9±2.8mg/dl) compared to those HIV-negative (12.1±2.8mg/dl) (p=0.003).


Malaria infection was rare in HIV-positive individuals treated with CTX for opportunistic infections, while no independent anti-malarial effect for NNRTIs was noted. When HIV and malaria co-infection occurred, a high risk of complications, particularly anaemia, should be expected.
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