Review of cytomegalovirus coinfection in HIV-infected individuals in Africa


BACKGROUND: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection among HIV-infected individuals may cause end-organ disease, which is an AIDS-defining condition. Evidence from high-income countries suggests that CMV may alter the outcome of HIV infection, other than causing end-organ diseases. We reviewed literature on HIV and CMV coinfection in Africa. METHODS: Systematic review of published studies on HIV and CMV coinfection in Africa using the PubMed database. RESULTS: High CMV seroprevalence was found throughout Africa, exceeding 90% in most populations. Retinitis, pneumonia, and colitis were the most commonly reported CMV manifestations in HIV-infected individuals. Among patients with pulmonary symptoms, the prevalence of CMV pneumonitis varied from 20% to over 60%, whereas CMV was found in 0% to 14% of patients with gastrointestinal manifestations. Cytomegalovirus retinitis was found in 0% to 2.6% of examined HIV-infected individuals. The diagnostics of CMV end-organ diseases were found complex and difficult to interpret in African settings. Cytomegalovirus viremia was correlated with significantly lower CD4 cell count and increase in activated and apoptosis vulnerable T-lymphocytes. Also, CMV coinfection was found to be associated with increased transmission and progression of HIV infection. Moreover, detectable CMV DNA was an independent predictor of HIV transmission and mortality among HIV-infected individuals. CONCLUSIONS: Cytomegalovirus is highly prevalent in Africa and a common cause of disease manifestations in HIV-infected individuals among all age groups. Cytomegalovirus coinfection in HIV-infected individuals in Africa is associated with increased transmission and mortality of HIV, but it is a neglected area of research.


Gronborg HL, Jespersen S, Honge BL, Jensen-Fangel S, Wejse C.




  • Population(s)
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • General HIV+ population


Abstract/Full paper

Email 1 selected articles

Email 1 selected articles

Error! The email wasn't sent. Please try again.

Your email has been sent!