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1.  Effects of Short-Course Zidovudine on the Selection of Nevirapine-Resistant HIV-1 in Women Taking Single-Dose Nevirapine 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;205(12):1811-1815.
Single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) given to prevent mother-to-child-transmission of HIV-1 selects NVP-resistance. Short-course zidovudine (ZDV) was hypothesized to lower rates of NVP-resistance. HIV-1 infected pregnant women administered sdNVP with or without short-course ZDV were assessed for HIV-1 mutations (K103N, Y181C, G190A, and V106M) prior to delivery and postpartum. Postpartum NVP-resistance was lower among 31 taking ZDV+sdNVP compared to 33 taking only sdNVP (35.5% vs 72.7%; χ2 P = .003). NVP mutants decayed to <2% in 24/35 (68.6%) at a median 6 months postpartum, with no differences based on ZDV use (logrank P = .99). Short-course ZDV was associated with reduced NVP-resistance mutations among women taking sdNVP.
PMCID: PMC3415891  PMID: 22492850
2.  Safety and Efficacy of HIV Hyperimmune Globulin (HIVIGLOB) for Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission in HIV-1 infected Pregnant Women and their Infants in Kampala, Uganda (HIVIGLOB/NVP STUDY) 
This phase III randomized clinical trial compared single dose nevirapine (sdNVP) plus HIV immunoglobulin (HIVIGLOB) to sdNVP alone for preventing maternal-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV.
Primary objectives were to determine rates of HIV infection among infants, and to assess the safety of HIVIGLOB in combination with sdNVP in HIV-infected Ugandan pregnant women and their infants.
Mother-infant pairs were randomized to receive 200mg of NVP to women in labor and 2mg/kg NVP to newborns within 72 hours after birth (sdNVP arm) or to receive sdNVP plus a single intravenous 240ml dose of HIVIGLOB given to women at 36-38 weeks gestation and a single intravenous 24ml dose to newborns within 18 hours of birth (HIVIGLOB/sdNVP arm). Risk of HIV infection was determined using Kaplan-Meier and risk ratio estimates at birth, 2, 6, 14 weeks, 6 and 12 months of age.
Intent-to-treat analysis included 198 HIVIGLOB/sdNVP and 294 sdNVP mother-infant pairs. At 6 months of age, the primary endpoint, there was no statistically significant difference in HIV transmission in the HIVIGLOB/sdNVP arm versus the sdNVP arm (18.7% vs.15.0%; RR =1.240 [95% CI: 0.833-1.846]; p= 0.290). Similarly, the proportion of serious adverse events in the HIVIGLOB/sdNVP and sdNVP arms, respectively for mothers (18.9% vs. 19.3%; p= 0.91) and infants (62.6% vs. 59.5%; p=0.51), were not significantly different.
Giving mother-infant pairs an infusion of peripartum HIV hyperimmunoglobulin in addition to sdNVP for PMTCT was as safe as sdNVP alone, but was no more effective than sdNVP alone in preventing HIV transmission.
PMCID: PMC3204156  PMID: 21826009
HIV; HIVIGLOB; sdNVP; breastfeeding; PMTCT; Uganda
3.  18-Month Effectiveness of Short-Course Antiretroviral Regimens Combined with Alternatives to Breastfeeding to Prevent HIV Mother-to-Child Transmission 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(2):e1645.
We assessed the 18-month effectiveness of short-course (sc) antiretroviral peripartum regimens combined with alternatives to prolonged breastfeeding to prevent mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV-1 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
HIV-1 infected pregnant women received from ≥32–36 weeks of gestation scZidovudine (ZDV)+/−Lamivudine (3TC)+single-dose Nevirapine (sdNVP) at delivery within the ANRS 1201/1202 DITRAME-Plus cohort (2001–2003). Neonates received a sdNVP+7-day ZDV prophylaxis. Two infant-feeding interventions were systematically offered free of charge: formula-feeding or exclusive shortened breastfeeding with early cessation from four months. The reference group was the ANRS 049a DITRAME cohort (1994–2000) exposed to scZDV from 36 weeks, then to prolonged breastfeeding. Pediatric HIV infection was defined by a positive plasma HIV-1 RNA at any age, or if aged ≥18 months, a positive HIV-1 serology. Turnbull estimates of cumulative transmission risks (CTR) and effectiveness (HIV-free survival) were compared by exposure group using a Cox model.
Among 926 live-born children enrolled, 107 (11.6%) were HIV-infected at 18 months. CTRs were 22.3% (95% confidence interval[CI]:16–30%) in the 238 ZDV long-term breastfed reference group, 15.9% (CI:10–27%) in the 169 ZDV+sdNVP shortened breastfed group; 9.4% (CI:6–14%) in the 195 ZDV+sdNVP formula-fed group; 6.8% (CI:4–11%) in the 198 ZDV+3TC+sdNVP shortened breastfed group, and 5.6% (CI:2–10%) in the 126 ZDV+3TC+sdNVP formula-fed group. Each combination had a significantly higher effectiveness than the ZDV long-term breastfed group except for ZDV+sdNVP shortened breastfed children, ranging from 51% (CI:20–70%) for ZDV+sdNVP formula fed children to 63% (CI:40–80%) for ZDV+3TC+NVPsd shortened breastfed children, after adjustment for maternal eligibility for antiretroviral therapy (ART), home delivery and low birth-weight. Substantial MTCT risk reductions are reachable in Africa, even in short-term breastfed children. The two sc antiretroviral combinations associated to any of the two infant feeding interventions, formula-feeding and shortened breastfeeding, reduce significantly MTCT with long-term benefit until age 18 months and without increasing mortality.
PMCID: PMC2237904  PMID: 18286200
4.  Impact of Nevirapine (NVP) Plasma Concentration on Selection of Resistant Virus in Mothers Who Received Single-Dose NVP To Prevent Perinatal Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Transmission and Persistence of Resistant Virus in Their Infected Children▿  
Nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor resistance following the use of single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) remains a concern. In the ANRS-1201/1202 Ditrame study, conducted in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, a short-course regimen of zidovudine was associated with sdNVP for PMTCT. In this study, we estimate the frequency of NVP resistance and its relationship with NVP concentration in mothers. Genotypic resistance analysis was performed on mothers' plasma samples at week 4 postpartum (PP) and on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) DNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) when an NVP resistance mutation was detected. The same tests were performed for the infected children at week 4, month 3, and month 12. Mothers' NVP plasma concentrations were measured at 48 h PP. Twenty-one (33%) of the 63 women selected had NVP-resistant (NVP-R) virus at week 4 PP. The median plasma NVP concentration was 598 ng/ml for the mothers without NVP-R virus compared to 851 ng/ml for the mothers harboring NVP-R virus (P = 0.014). NVP-R mutations were detected in the HIV DNA of 15/20 women. Plasma NVP-R mutations were detectable in 6 of 26 infected children at week 4. All 6 children had detectable NVP-R mutations in HIV DNA of PBMC. Blood samples taken at month 3 (1 child) and month 12 (1 child) revealed the persistence of NVP-R mutations in plasma and cells. Emergence of NVP-R virus in mothers is strongly correlated with a high level of plasma NVP concentration, owing to a prolonged postpartum period of viral replication under NVP selective pressure. The follow-up of the cohort demonstrates the prolonged archive of resistant virus.
PMCID: PMC1803117  PMID: 17178792
5.  Lower Risk of Resistance After Short-Course HAART Compared With Zidovudine/Single-Dose Nevirapine Used for Prevention of HIV-1 Mother-to-Child Transmission 
Antiretroviral resistance after short-course regimens used to prevent mother-to-child transmission has consequences for later treatment. Directly comparing the prevalence of resistance after short-course regimens of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and zidovudine plus single-dose nevirapine (ZDV/sdNVP) will provide critical information when assessing the relative merits of these antiretroviral interventions.
In a clinical trial in Kenya, pregnant women were randomized to receive either ZDV/sdNVP or a short-course of HAART through 6 months of breastfeeding. Plasma samples were collected 3–12 months after treatment cessation, and resistance to reverse transcriptase inhibitors was assessed using both a sequencing assay and highly sensitive allele-specific polymerase chain reaction assays.
No mutations associated with resistance were detectable by sequencing in either the ZDV/sdNVP or HAART arms at 3 months posttreatment, indicating that resistant viruses were not present in >20% of virus. Using allele-specific polymerase chain reaction assays for K103N and Y181C, we detected low levels of resistant virus in 75% of women treated with ZDV/sdNVP and only 18% of women treated with HAART (P = 0.007). Y181C was more prevalent than K103N at 3 months and showed little evidence of decay by 12 months.
Our finding provides evidence that compared with ZDV/sdNVP, HAART reduces but does not eliminate nevirapine resistance.
PMCID: PMC2765911  PMID: 19502990
antiretroviral resistance; HIV; HAART; mother-to-child transmission; prophylaxis
6.  Addition of extended zidovudine to extended nevirapine prophylaxis reduces nevirapine resistance in infants who were HIV infected in utero 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(3):381-386.
In the PEPI-Malawi trial, most women received single dose nevirapine (sdNVP) at delivery, and infants in the extended study arms received sdNVP plus 1 week of daily zidovudine (ZDV), followed by either extended daily NVP or extended daily NVP+ZDV up to 14 weeks of age. While extended NVP prophylaxis reduces the risk of postnatal HIV transmission, it may increase the risk of NVP resistance among infants who are HIV-infected despite prophylaxis.
We analyzed 88 infants in the PEPI- Malawi trial with in utero HIV infection who received prophylaxis for a median of 6 weeks prior to HIV diagnosis. HIV genotyping was performed using the ViroSeq HIV Genotyping System.
At 14 weeks of age, the proportion of infants with NVP resistance was lower in the extended NVP+ZDV arm than in the extended NVP arm (28/45=62.2% vs. 37/43=86.0%, p=0.015). None of the infants had ZDV resistance. Addition of extended ZDV to extended NVP was associated with reduced risk of NVP resistance at 14 weeks if prophylaxis was stopped by 6 weeks (54.5% vs. 85.7%, p=0.007), but not if prophylaxis was continued beyond 6 weeks (83.3% vs. 87.5%, p=1.00).
Addition of extended ZDV to extended NVP prophylaxis significantly reduced the risk of NVP resistance at 14 weeks in infants with in utero HIV infection, provided that HIV infection was diagnosed and the prophylaxis was stopped by 6 weeks of age.
PMCID: PMC3063063  PMID: 19996936
HIV-1; resistance; infants; Malawi; nevirapine
7.  Greater Suppression of Nevirapine Resistance With 21- vs 7-Day Antiretroviral Regimens After Intrapartum Single-Dose Nevirapine for Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV 
Seven- or 21-day regimens of tenofovir/emtricitabine, zidovudine/lamivudine, or lopinavir/ritonavir after single-dose nevirapine (NVP) were effective in suppressing NVP resistance detected by population genotype. Allele-specific polymerase chain reaction revealed that the 21-day regimens were significantly better at preventing the emergence of minor NVP resistance.
Background. Nevirapine (NVP) resistance emerges in up to 70% of women exposed to single-dose (sd) NVP for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Methods. HIV-infected pregnant women were randomized to receive sdNVP and either zidovudine/lamivudine (3TC), tenofovir/emtricitabine (FTC), or lopinavir/ritonavir for either 7 or 21 days. The primary endpoint was the emergence of new NVP resistance mutations as detected by standard population genotype at 2 and 6 weeks after treatment. Low-frequency NVP- or 3TC/FTC-resistant mutants at codons 103, 181, and 184 were sought using allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (ASP).
Results. Among 484 women randomized, 422 (87%) received study treatment. Four hundred twelve (98%) women had primary endpoint results available; of these, 5 (1.2%) had new NVP resistance detected by population genotype: 4 of 215 in the 7-day arms (1.9%; K103N in 4 women with Y181C, Y188C, or G190A in 3 of 4) and 1 of 197 (0.5%; V108I) in the 21-day arms (P = .37). Among women with ASP results, new NVP resistance mutations emerged significantly more often in the 7-day arms (13/74 [18%]) than in the 21-day arms (3/66 [5%], P = .019). 3TC/FTC-resistant mutants (M184V/I) emerged infrequently (7/134 [5%]), and their occurrence did not differ by arm.
Conclusions. Three short-term antiretroviral strategies, begun simultaneously with the administration of sdNVP, resulted in a low rate (1.2%) of new NVP-resistance mutations when assessed at 2 and 6 weeks following completion of study treatment by standard genotype. ASP revealed that 21-day regimens were significantly better than 7-day regimens at preventing the emergence of minor NVP resistance variants.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT00099632.
PMCID: PMC3588119  PMID: 23300238
nevirapine; mother-to-child transmission; pregnancy; resistance; HIV
8.  WHO 2010 Guidelines for Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission in Zimbabwe: Modeling Clinical Outcomes in Infants and Mothers 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20224.
The Zimbabwean national prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) program provided primarily single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) from 2002–2009 and is currently replacing sdNVP with more effective antiretroviral (ARV) regimens.
Published HIV and PMTCT models, with local trial and programmatic data, were used to simulate a cohort of HIV-infected, pregnant/breastfeeding women in Zimbabwe (mean age 24.0 years, mean CD4 451 cells/µL). We compared five PMTCT regimens at a fixed level of PMTCT medication uptake: 1) no antenatal ARVs (comparator); 2) sdNVP; 3) WHO 2010 guidelines using “Option A” (zidovudine during pregnancy/infant NVP during breastfeeding for women without advanced HIV disease; lifelong 3-drug antiretroviral therapy (ART) for women with advanced disease); 4) WHO “Option B” (ART during pregnancy/breastfeeding without advanced disease; lifelong ART with advanced disease); and 5) “Option B+:” lifelong ART for all pregnant/breastfeeding, HIV-infected women. Pediatric (4–6 week and 18-month infection risk, 2-year survival) and maternal (2- and 5-year survival, life expectancy from delivery) outcomes were projected.
Eighteen-month pediatric infection risks ranged from 25.8% (no antenatal ARVs) to 10.9% (Options B/B+). Although maternal short-term outcomes (2- and 5-year survival) varied only slightly by regimen, maternal life expectancy was reduced after receipt of sdNVP (13.8 years) or Option B (13.9 years) compared to no antenatal ARVs (14.0 years), Option A (14.0 years), or Option B+ (14.5 years).
Replacement of sdNVP with currently recommended regimens for PMTCT (WHO Options A, B, or B+) is necessary to reduce infant HIV infection risk in Zimbabwe. The planned transition to Option A may also improve both pediatric and maternal outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3107213  PMID: 21655097
9.  HIV-1 persists in breast milk cells despite antiretroviral treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission 
AIDS (London, England)  2008;22(12):1475-1485.
The effects of short-course antiretrovirals given to reduce mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) on temporal patterns of cell-associated HIV-1 RNA and DNA in breast milk are not well defined.
Women in Kenya received short-course zidovudine (ZDV), single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP), combination ZDV/sdNVP or short-course highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Breast milk samples were collected two to three times weekly for 4–6 weeks. HIV-1 DNA was quantified by real-time PCR. Cell-free and cell-associated RNA levels were quantified by the Gen-Probe HIV-1 viral load assay.
Cell-free HIV-1 RNA levels in breast milk were significantly suppressed by sdNVP, ZDV/sdNVP or HAART therapy compared with ZDV between day 3 and week 4 postpartum (P ≤ 0.03). Breast milk HIV-1 DNA levels (infected cell levels) were not significantly different between treatment arms at any timepoint during the 4–6-week follow-up. At 3 weeks postpartum, when the difference in cell-free RNA levels was the greatest comparing HAART directly with ZDV (P = 0.0001), median log10 HIV-1 DNA copies per 1 × 106 cells were 2.78, 2.54, 2.69, and 2.31 in the ZDV, sdNVP, ZDV/sdNVP and HAART arms, respectively (P = 0.23). Cell-associated HIV-1 RNA levels were modestly suppressed in HAART versus ZDV/sdNVP during week 3 (3.37 versus 4.02, P = 0.04), as well as over time according to a linear mixed-effects model.
Cell-free and, to a lesser extent, cell-associated HIV-1 RNA levels in breast milk were suppressed by antiretroviral regimens used to prevent MTCT. However, even with HAART, there was no significant reduction in the reservoir of infected cells, which could contribute to breast milk HIV-1 transmission.
PMCID: PMC2765916  PMID: 18614871
antiretrovirals; breast milk; cell associated; HIV; vertical transmission; viral load
10.  Short Communication: In Utero HIV Infection Is Associated with an Increased Risk of Nevirapine Resistance in Ugandan Infants Who Were Exposed to Perinatal Single Dose Nevirapine 
Use of single dose nevirapine (sdNVP) to prevent HIV mother-to-child transmission is associated with the emergence of NVP resistance in many infants who are HIV infected despite prophylaxis. We combined results from four clinical trials to analyze predictors of NVP resistance in sdNVP-exposed Ugandan infants. Samples were tested with the ViroSeq HIV Genotyping System and a sensitive point mutation assay (LigAmp, for detection of K103N, Y181C, and G190A). NVP resistance was detected at 6–8 weeks in 36 (45.0%) of 80 infants using ViroSeq and 33 (45.8%) of 72 infants using LigAmp. NVP resistance was more frequent among infants who were infected in utero than among infants who were diagnosed with HIV infection after birth by 6–8 weeks of age. Detection of NVP resistance at 6–8 weeks was not associated with HIV subtype (A vs. D), pre-NVP maternal viral load or CD4 cell count, infant viral load at 6–8 weeks, or infant sex. NVP resistance was still detected in some infants 6–12 months after sdNVP exposure. In this study, in utero HIV infection was the only factor associated with detection of NVP resistance in infants 6–8 weeks after sdNVP exposure.
PMCID: PMC2752753  PMID: 19552593
11.  Short Communication: In Utero HIV Infection Is Associated with an Increased Risk of Nevirapine Resistance in Ugandan Infants Who Were Exposed to Perinatal Single Dose Nevirapine 
Use of single dose nevirapine (sdNVP) to prevent HIV mother-to-child transmission is associated with the emergence of NVP resistance in many infants who are HIV infected despite prophylaxis. We combined results from four clinical trials to analyze predictors of NVP resistance in sdNVP-exposed Ugandan infants. Samples were tested with the ViroSeq HIV Genotyping System and a sensitive point mutation assay (LigAmp, for detection of K103N, Y181C, and G190A). NVP resistance was detected at 6–8 weeks in 36 (45.0%) of 80 infants using ViroSeq and 33 (45.8%) of 72 infants using LigAmp. NVP resistance was more frequent among infants who were infected in utero than among infants who were diagnosed with HIV infection after birth by 6–8 weeks of age. Detection of NVP resistance at 6–8 weeks was not associated with HIV subtype (A vs. D), pre-NVP maternal viral load or CD4 cell count, infant viral load at 6–8 weeks, or infant sex. NVP resistance was still detected in some infants 6–12 months after sdNVP exposure. In this study, in utero HIV infection was the only factor associated with detection of NVP resistance in infants 6–8 weeks after sdNVP exposure.
PMCID: PMC2752753  PMID: 19552593
12.  Temporal Reduction of HIV Type 1 Viral Load in Breast Milk by Single-Dose Nevirapine during Prevention of MTCT 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2009;25(12):1261-1264.
Short-course zidovudine (ZDV) with or without a single dose of nevirapine (sdNVP) is widely used to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT). However, more data on viral load in breast milk following pMTCT regimens are needed. In a randomized PMTCT study in Botswana, in which half of the women received sdNVP in labor, stored samples from mothers assigned to breastfeed were analyzed for HIV-1 RNA in breast milk supernatant. A total of 527 samples from 282 women, collected at delivery, 2 weeks, 2 months, and 5 months postpartum were available for testing. Cell-free breast milk HIV-1 RNA was detectable (>40 copies/ml) in 44.8% (236/527) of samples analyzed. Women randomized to sdNVP + ZDV were more likely to have undetectable breast milk viral loads at 2 weeks postpartum compared with those who received ZDV alone (67.8% vs. 38.5%, p = 0.002). By 2 months postpartum the difference between study arms disappeared, and 43.8% of women who received sdNVP + ZDV had undetectable HIV-1 RNA compared to 53.8% of the ZDV alone group (p = 0.19) and 60.5% vs. 64.5%, respectively, at month 5 (p = 0.61.) The addition of sdNVP to antenatal short-course AZT resulted in significantly reduced breast milk viral loads at 2 weeks postpartum suggesting a reduced risk of MTCT during the early postpartum period. However, viral loads in both study arms were comparable at 2 and 5 months postpartum, suggesting that the receipt of sdNVP in labor may defer rather than blunt the postpartum viral load rebound seen in breast milk after the discontinuation of ZDV.
PMCID: PMC2828251  PMID: 20001515
13.  Minor resistant variants in nevirapine-exposed infants may predict virologic failure on nevirapine-containing ART 
Single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) is widely used to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV-1. This may result in NVP resistance in both mother and infant. The significance of low levels of NVP resistance mutations in infants treated with NVP-containing antiretroviral treatment (ART) is unknown.
To determine the presence of pre-treatment NVP resistance in HIV-infected infants with and without prior NVP exposure.
Study Design
33 HIV-1-infected infants in a PMTCT trial received NVP-containing ART (26 infants with prior NVP exposure). Plasma and buffy coat samples obtained prior to ART initiation were evaluated for drug resistance by bulk sequencing and allele-specific PCR (ASPCR).
ViroSeq™ identified NVP resistance in 3 of 33 infants; all failed first-line therapy. Pre-ART plasma NVP resistance by ASPCR was detected in 9 of 16 children experiencing virologic failure compared to 4 of 17 children without virologic failure (risk ratio 2.4, CI 0.94-7.8, p=0.08). Proviral resistance was not associated with virologic failure (risk ratio 1.2, CI 0.8-2.0, p= 0.40). In the nevirapine-exposed infants, those who started ART before 7 months had higher risk of virologic failure (RR 2.3; CI 0.96-9.2; p=0.11).
Low level drug resistance detected in plasma after NVP exposure prior to ART initiation may be associated with virologic failure on ART, while resistance in the DNA reservoir was not predictive of treatment outcome.
PMCID: PMC2909836  PMID: 20427228
HIV; minor variant; drug resistance; nevirapine; PMTCT
14.  Low Rates of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission in a Routine Programmatic Setting in Lilongwe, Malawi 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64979.
The Tingathe program utilizes community health workers to improve prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) service delivery. We evaluated the impact of antiretroviral (ARV) regimen and maternal CD4+ count on HIV transmission within the Tingathe program in Lilongwe, Malawi.
We reviewed clinical records of 1088 mother-infant pairs enrolled from March 2009 to March 2011 who completed follow-up to first DNA PCR. Eligibility for antiretroviral treatment (ART) was determined by CD4+ cell count (CD4+) for women not yet on ART. ART-eligible women initiated stavudine-lamivudine-nevirapine. Early ART was defined as ART for ≥14 weeks prior to delivery. For women ineligible for ART, optimal ARV prophylaxis was maternal AZT ≥6 weeks+sdNVP, and infant sdNVP+AZT for 1 week. HIV transmission rates were determined for ARV regimens, and factors associated with vertical transmission were identified using bivariate logistic regression.
Transmission rate at first PCR was 4.1%. Pairs receiving suboptimal ARV prophylaxis were more likely to transmit HIV (10.3%, 95% CI, 5.5–18.1%). ART was associated with reduced transmission (1.4%, 95% CI, 0.6–3.0%), with early ART associated with decreased transmission (no transmission), compared to all other treatment groups (p = 0.001). No association was detected between transmission and CD4+ categories (p = 0.337), trimester of pregnancy at enrollment (p = 0.100), or maternal age (p = 0.164).
Low rates of MTCT of HIV are possible in resource-constrained settings under routine programmatic conditions. No transmissions were observed among women on ART for more than 14 weeks prior to delivery.
PMCID: PMC3669205  PMID: 23741437
15.  Low-frequency nevirapine resistance at multiple sites may predict treatment failure in infants on nevirapine-based treatment 
Resistance commonly arises in infants exposed to single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) for prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT). While K103N and Y181C are common following sdNVP, multiple other mutations also confer NVP-resistance. It remains unclear whether specific NVP-resistance mutations or combinations of mutations predict virologic failure in infants when present at low frequencies prior to NVP-based treatment.
Twenty sdNVP-exposed infants who were subsequently treated with NVP-based highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) were examined. Pre-treatment plasma samples were tested for the presence of NVP-resistance mutations by allele-specific PCR (ASPCR) for K103N and Y181C and ultra-deep pyrosequencing (UDPS) for all primary NVP mutations. Viral levels were determined every 3 months for up to 24months on NVP-HAART. Cox proportional hazard models were used to determine correlates of viral failure.
The NVP resistance mutations K103N or Y181C were detected in pre-treatment plasma samples in 6 infants by ASPCR. NVP resistance at these or other sites was detectable by UDPS in 10 out of 20 infants tested. Virologic failure occurred in 50% of infants with any NVP resistance mutations detected, while only 20% of infants without resistance experienced viral failure, but the difference was not significant (p=0.19). An increase in the number of NVP resistance mutations detectable by UDPS in an infant was significantly associated with an increased risk of virologic failure (HR=1.79 (95%CI: 1.07, 2.99), p=0.027).
Low frequencies of multiple NVP resistance mutations, in addition to K103N and Y181C, present in infants before NVP-based treatment may predict treatment outcome.
PMCID: PMC3383885  PMID: 22395670
HIV; infants; nevirapine; resistance; HAART; treatment failure
16.  Detection of HIV-1 DNA resistance mutations by a sensitive assay at initiation of antiretroviral therapy is associated with virologic failure 
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has become more available throughout the developing world during the past five years. The World Health Organization recommends nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based regimens as initial ART. However, their efficacy may be compromised by resistance mutations selected by single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) used to prevent mother-to-child-transmission of HIV-1 (PMTCT). There is no simple and efficient method to detect such mutations at initiation of ART.
181 women participating in a PMTCT clinical trial who started NVP-ART after they had received sdNVP or placebo were tested for nevirapine-resistance point-mutations (K103N, Y181C, and G190A) using 100 copies of HIV-1 DNA with a sensitive oligonucleotide ligation assay (OLA) able to detect mutants at low concentrations (≥5% of the viral population). Virologic failure was defined as plasma HIV-1 RNA confirmed >50 copies/mL between 6–18 months of NVP-ART.
At initiation of NVP-ART, resistance mutations were identified in 26% of 148 participants given sdNVP (K103N-13%, Y181C-5%, G190A-19%; ≥2 mutations-10%) at a median 9.3 months after sdNVP. The risk of virologic failure was .62 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.46–0.77) in women with ≥1 resistance mutation, compared to 0.25 (95% CI, 0.17–0.35) in those without detectable resistance mutations (P<.0001). Failure was independently associated with resistance, an interval of <6 months between sdNVP and NVP-ART initiation, and a viral load above the median at NVP-ART initiation.
Access to simple and inexpensive assays to detect low-concentrations of NVP-resistant HIV-1 DNA prior to the initiation of ART could help improve the outcome of first-line antiretroviral therapy.
PMCID: PMC2856716  PMID: 20377404
HIV-1; resistance mutations; nevirapine; HAART; oligonucleotide ligation assay; developing countries
17.  Detection of HIV-1 Drug Resistance in Women Following Administration of a Single Dose of Nevirapine: Comparison of Plasma RNA to Cellular DNA by Consensus Sequencing and by Oligonucleotide Ligation Assay▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(5):1555-1561.
A single dose of nevirapine (sdNVP) to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 increases the risk of failure of subsequent NVP-containing antiretroviral therapy (ART), especially when initiated within 6 months of sdNVP administration, emphasizing the importance of understanding the decay of nevirapine-resistant mutants. Nevirapine-resistant HIV-1 genotypes (with the mutations K103N, Y181C, and/or G190A) from 21 women were evaluated 10 days and 6 weeks after sdNVP administration and at the initiation of ART. Resistance was assayed by consensus sequencing and by a more sensitive assay (oligonucleotide ligation assay [OLA]) using plasma-derived HIV-1 RNA and cell-associated HIV-1 DNA. OLA detected nevirapine resistance in more specimens than consensus sequencing did (63% versus 33%, P < 0.01). When resistance was detected only by OLA (n = 45), the median mutant concentration was 18%, compared to 61% when detected by both sequencing and OLA (n = 51) (P < 0.0001). The proportion of women whose nevirapine resistance was detected by OLA 10 days after sdNVP administration was higher when we tested their HIV-1 RNA (95%) than when we tested their HIV-1 DNA (88%), whereas at 6 weeks after sdNVP therapy, the proportion was greater with DNA (85%) than with RNA (67%) and remained higher with DNA (33%) than with RNA (11%) at the initiation of antiretroviral treatment (median, 45 weeks after sdNVP therapy). Fourteen women started NVP-ART more than 6 months after sdNVP therapy; resistance was detected by OLA in 14% of the women but only in their DNA. HIV-1 resistance to NVP following sdNVP therapy persists longer in cellular DNA than in plasma RNA, as determined by a sensitive assay using sufficient copies of virus, suggesting that DNA may be superior to RNA for detecting resistance at the initiation of ART.
PMCID: PMC2863880  PMID: 20181911
18.  Clonal amplification and maternal-infant transmission of nevirapine-resistant HIV-1 variants in breast milk following single-dose nevirapine prophylaxis 
Retrovirology  2013;10:88.
Intrapartum administration of single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) reduces perinatal HIV-1 transmission in resource-limiting settings by half. Yet this strategy has limited effect on subsequent breast milk transmission, making the case for new treatment approaches to extend maternal/infant antiretroviral prophylaxis through the period of lactation. Maternal and transmitted infant HIV-1 variants frequently develop NVP resistance mutations following sdNVP, complicating subsequent treatment/prophylaxis regimens. However, it is not clear whether NVP-resistant viruses are transmitted via breastfeeding or arise de novo in the infant.
We performed a detailed HIV genetic analysis using single genome sequencing to identify the origin of drug-resistant variants in an sdNVP-treated postnatally-transmitting mother-infant pair. Phylogenetic analysis of HIV sequences from the child revealed low-diversity variants indicating infection by a subtype C single transmitted/founder virus that shared full-length sequence identity with a clonally-amplified maternal breast milk virus variant harboring the K103N NVP resistance mutation.
In this mother/child pair, clonal amplification of maternal NVP-resistant HIV variants present in systemic and mammary gland compartments following intrapartum sdNVP represents one source of transmitted NVP-resistant variants that is responsible for the acquisition of drug resistant virus by the breastfeeding infant. This finding emphasizes the need for combination antiretroviral prophylaxis to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission.
PMCID: PMC3765243  PMID: 23941304
Mother-to-child transmission; Breast milk; HIV-transmission; Nevirapine; Drug-resistant variant; K103N; Transmitted virus; Clonal amplification; Antiretroviral prophylaxis
19.  Ultrasensitive Detection of Minor Drug-Resistant Variants for HIV After Nevirapine Exposure Using Allele-Specific PCR: Clinical Significance 
HIV-1 drug resistance mutations have been detected at low frequencies after single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT). We investigated the relationship between these “minor variant” NVP-resistant viruses and clinical outcome with NVP-containing antiretroviral therapy (ART). An allele-specific quantitative PCR (ASPCR) assay was used to quantify the pre-ART frequency of K103N and Y181C in 26 women who had received sdNVP. The cohort was composed of 7 patients who experienced virologic failure and 19 control patients who maintained virologic suppression on NVP-containing ART; all were negative for resistance by standard genotyping. NVP resistance mutations were found in 17 of 26 (65%) patients using ASPCR. The frequency of NVP-resistant viruses ranged from 0.1% to 4.11%. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis identified a clinical threshold frequency of 0.19% for the ASPCR assay. Application of this threshold demonstrated minor variant resistance in 6 of 7 patients (86%) who failed treatment compared to 6 of 19 patients (32%) who were successful (OR = 13; 95% CI 1.27–133). ASPCR provides a means of detecting minor variant drug-resistant viruses that may impact subsequent treatment response. These data suggest a clinical role for highly sensitive assays to detect and quantify resistant viruses at low frequencies.
PMCID: PMC2864062  PMID: 20334564
20.  Reuse of single-dose nevirapine in subsequent pregnancies for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission in Lusaka, Zambia: A cohort study 
Single-dose nevirapine (SDNVP) for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) results in the selection of resistance mutants among HIV-infected mothers. The effects of these mutations on the efficacy of SDNVP use in a subsequent pregnancy are not well understood.
We compared risks of perinatal HIV transmission between multiparous women who had previously received a dose of SDNVP (exposed) and those that had not (unexposed) and who were given SDNVP for the index pregnancy within a PMTCT clinical study. We also compared transmission risks among exposed and unexposed women who had two consecutive pregnancies within the trial. Logistic regression modeling was used to adjust for possible confounders.
Transmission risks did not differ between 59 SDNVP-exposed and 782 unexposed women in unadjusted analysis or after adjustment for viral load and disease stage (adjusted odds ratio 0.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.2 to 2.0). Among 43 women who had two consecutive pregnancies during the study, transmission risks were 7% (95% CI 1% to 19%) at both the first (unexposed) and second (exposed) delivery. The results were unchanged, if infant death was included as an outcome.
These data suggest that the efficacy of SDNVP may not be diminished when reused in subsequent pregnancies.
PMCID: PMC2630918  PMID: 19116004
21.  Mortality and virologic outcomes following access to antiretroviral therapy among a cohort of HIV-infected women who received single-dose nevirapine in Lusaka, Zambia 
Single-dose nevirapine (SDNVP) for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission selects mutations conferring resistance to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based therapy. We investigated mortality and virologic and clinical outcomes following introduction of antiretroviral treatment (ART) among a cohort of women given SDNVP.
When ART programs were introduced in 2004 in Lusaka, Zambia, we were completing a trial of infant feeding which involved following HIV-infected women who received SDNVP between 2001 and 2005. Women still in follow-up or who could be contacted were evaluated for eligibility for ART (CD4 count <200 or <350 and WHO stage ≥ 3) and started on NNRTI-based therapy if eligible. We compared mortality in the cohort of women before and after ART access, and examined, among women initiating ART, whether virologic response was better allowing a longer time to elapse between SDNVP and treatment initiation.
In the cohort of 872 women, mortality more than halved after ART became available (relative hazard [RH] = 0.46 95% CI: 0.23–0.91 p=0.03). Of 161 SDNVP-exposed women followed on NNRTI-based ART, 70.8% suppressed (viral load <400 copies/ml). Only 3/8 (37.5%) women SDNVP-exposed <6 months of starting therapy suppressed compared to 13/22 (59.1%) who started 6–12 months, 44/61 (72.1 %) 12–24 months, and 54/70 (77.1%) >24 months post-exposure (chi-square trend p=0.01).
Most SDNVP-exposed women respond well to NNRTI-based therapy but there was an attenuation of therapy efficacy that persisted to 12 months after exposure. Women should be screened for ART eligibility during pregnancy and started on effective regimens before delivery.
PMCID: PMC2782481  PMID: 19506483
22.  A Comparison of 3 Regimens to Prevent Nevirapine Resistance Mutations in HIV-Infected Pregnant Women Receiving a Single Intrapartum Dose of Nevirapine 
Nevirapine resistance is common after single-dose nevirapine therapy to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection. A 7-day tail of highly active combination therapy or 1 month of dual therapy prevents most nevirapine resistance to minimal toxicity.
Background. Intrapartum single-dose (SD) nevirapine (NVP) reduces perinatal transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection but selects for NVP-resistant virus, which compromises subsequent NVP-based therapy. A 1-week “tail” of lamivudine and zidovudine after SD-NVP decreases the risk of resistance. We hypothesized that increasing the duration or potency of the tail would further reduce this risk to <10%, using a sensitive assay to measure resistance.
Methods. HIV-infected pregnant Thai women with a CD4 cell count >250 cells/μL, most receiving zidovudine, were randomized at 28–38 weeks gestation to receive 1 of 3 intrapartum and postpartum regimens: (A) zidovudine plus enteric-coated didanosine plus lopinavir and ritonavir for 7 days, (B) zidovudine plus enteric-coated didanosine for 30 days, or (C) regimen 1 for 30 days. The incidence of NVP resistance mutations at day 10 or week 6 post partum in each arm was compared with that of a historical comparison group who received prenatal zidovudine and SD-NVP. NVP resistance was identified by consensus sequencing and a sensitive oligonucleotide ligation assay (OLA).
Results. At entry, the 169 participants had a median CD4 cell count of 456 cells/μL and an HIV load of 3.49 log10 copies/mL. The incidence of mutations in each of the 3 P1032 arms was 0% by sequencing and 1.8%, 7.1%, and 5.3% by OLA in arms A, B, and C, respectively, compared with 13.4% by sequencing and 29.4% by OLA in the comparison group (P < .001 for each study arm vs comparison group). Grade 4 anemia developed in 1 woman.
Conclusions. A 7-day tail of highly active combination therapy or 1 month of dual therapy after SD-NVP prevents most NVP resistance to minimal toxicity.
Clinical Trials Registration. The IMPAACT P1032 Clinical Trial is NCT00109590, and the PHPT-2 Clinical Trial is NCT00398684.
PMCID: PMC3245730  PMID: 22144539
23.  Effectiveness of Non-nucleoside Reverse-Transcriptase Inhibitor-Based Antiretroviral Therapy in Women Previously Exposed to a Single Intrapartum Dose of Nevirapine: A Multi-country, Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(2):e1000233.
In a comparative cohort study, Jeffrey Stringer and colleagues investigate the risk of ART failure in women who received single-dose nevirapine for PMTCT, and assess the duration of increased risk.
Intrapartum and neonatal single-dose nevirapine (NVP) reduces the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission but also induces viral resistance to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) drugs. This drug resistance largely fades over time. We hypothesized that women with a prior single-dose NVP exposure would have no more than a 10% higher cumulative prevalence of failure of their NNRTI-containing antiretroviral therapy (ART) over the first 48 wk of therapy than would women without a prior exposure.
Methods and Findings
We enrolled 355 NVP-exposed and 523 NVP-unexposed women at two sites in Zambia, one site in Kenya, and two sites in Thailand into a prospective, non-inferiority cohort study and followed them for 48 wk on ART. Those who died, discontinued NNRTI-containing ART, or had a plasma viral load ≥400 copies/ml at either the 24 wk or 48 wk study visits and confirmed on repeat testing were characterized as having failed therapy. Overall, 114 of 355 NVP-exposed women (32.1%) and 132 of 523 NVP-unexposed women (25.2%) met criteria for treatment failure. The difference in failure rates between the exposure groups was 6.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.8%–13.0%). The failure rates of women stratified by our predefined exposure interval categories were as follows: 47 of 116 women in whom less than 6 mo elapsed between exposure and starting ART failed therapy (40%; p<0.001 compared to unexposed women); 25 of 67 women in whom 7–12 mo elapsed between exposure and starting ART failed therapy (37%; p = 0.04 compared to unexposed women); and 42 of 172 women in whom more than 12 mo elapsed between exposure and starting ART failed therapy (24%; p = 0.82 compared to unexposed women). Locally weighted regression analysis also indicated a clear inverse relationship between virologic failure and the exposure interval.
Prior exposure to single-dose NVP was associated with an increased risk of treatment failure; however, this risk seems largely confined to women with a more recent exposure. Women requiring ART within 12 mo of NVP exposure should not be prescribed an NNRTI-containing regimen as first-line therapy.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Every year, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) kills nearly 300,000 children. At the end of 2008, 2.1 million children were positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of AIDS, and in that year alone more than 400,000 children were newly infected with HIV. Most HIV-positive children acquire the virus from their mothers during pregnancy or birth or through breastfeeding, so-called mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). Without intervention, 15%–30% of babies born to HIV-positive women become infected with HIV during pregnancy and delivery, and a further 5%–20% become infected through breastfeeding. These rates of infection can be greatly reduced by treating the mother and her newborn baby with antiretroviral drugs. A single dose of nevirapine (a “non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor” or NNRTI) given to the mother at the start of labor and to the baby soon after birth reduces the risk of MTCT by nearly a half; a further reduction in risk can be achieved by giving the mother and her baby additional antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy, around the time of birth, and while breast-feeding.
Why Was This Study Done?
Single-dose nevirapine is the mainstay of MTCT prevention programs in many poor countries but can induce resistance to nevirapine and to other NNRTIs. The drugs used to treat HIV infections fall into several different classes defined by how they stop viral growth. HIV can become resistant to any of these drugs and a virus strain that is resistant to one member of a drug class is often also resistant to other members of the same class. Because most first-line antiretroviral therapies (ARTs; cocktails of antiretroviral drugs) used in developing countries contain an NNRTI and because HIV-positive mothers eventually need ART to safeguard their own health, the resistance to NNRTIs that is induced in women by single-dose nevirapine might decrease the chances that ART will work for them later. In this multi-country, prospective cohort study, the researchers compare the effectiveness of NNRTI-containing ART in a group (cohort) of women previously exposed to single-dose nevirapine during childbirth to its effectiveness in a group of unexposed women. They also investigate whether the length of time between nevirapine exposure and ART initiation affects ART effectiveness.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers enrolled 355 HIV-positive nevirapine-exposed women and 523 HIV-positive nevirapine-unexposed women in Zambia, Kenya, and Thailand who were just starting NNRTI-containing ART and followed them for 48 weeks. They defined ART failure as death, discontinuation of NNRTI-containing ART, or a high virus load in the blood (virologic failure) at 24 or 48 weeks. ART failed in nearly a third of the nevirapine-exposed women but in only a quarter of the nevirapine-unexposed women. Women who began ART within 6 months of taking single-dose nevirapine to prevent MTCT were twice as likely to experience ART failure as women not exposed to single-dose nevirapine. Women who began ART 7–12 months after single-dose nevirapine had a slightly increased risk of ART failure compared to unexposed women but this increased risk was not statistically significant; that is, it could have occurred by chance. Women who began ART more than 12 months after single-dose nevirapine did not have an increased risk of ART failure compared to unexposed women. Finally, the researchers used a statistical method called locally weighted regression analysis to confirm that an increase in the interval between single-dose nevirapine and ART initiation decreased the risk of virologic failure.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings, which confirm and extend the results of previous studies and which are likely to be generalizable to other resource-poor countries, indicate that single-dose nevirapine given to women to prevent MTCT increases their risk of subsequent ART failure. More positively, they also show that this increased failure risk is largely confined to women who begin ART within a year of exposure to nevirapine. Because of the study design, it is possible that the nevirapine-exposed women share some additional, undefined characteristic that makes them more likely to fail ART than unexposed women. Even so, these findings suggest that, provided NNRTI-containing ART is not given to HIV-positive women within a year of nevirapine exposure, single-dose nevirapine can be safely used to prevent MTCT without compromising the mother's future antiretroviral treatment options.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS, on treatments for HIV/AIDS, and on HIV infection in infants and children
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on children, HIV, and AIDS and on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (in English and Spanish)
UNICEF also has information about children and HIV and AIDS (in several languages)
The World Health Organization has information on mother-to-child transmission of HIV
PMCID: PMC2821896  PMID: 20169113
24.  Nevirapine resistance in women and infants after first versus repeated use of single dose nevirapine for prevention of HIV-1 vertical transmission 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2008;198(4):465-469.
Single dose (SD) nevirapine (NVP) significantly reduces HIV mother-to-child transmission. We analyzed NVP resistance after SD NVP in 57 previously SD NVP-naїve women, 34 SD NVP-experienced women, and 17 HIV-infected infants. The proportion of women with resistance, the types of mutations detected, and the frequency and level of K103N were similar in the two groups of women at 6 weeks and 6 months post-partum. NVP resistance was detected in a similar proportion of infants born to SD NVP-naїve versus SD NVP-experienced women. Repeated use of SD NVP to prevent HIV transmission does not appear to influence NVP resistance.
PMCID: PMC2640946  PMID: 18582198
25.  Emergence and persistence of nevirapine (NVP) resistance in breast milk after single-dose NVP administration 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(4):557-561.
Single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) can reduce the risk of HIV vertical transmission. We assessed risk factors for NVP resistance in plasma and breast milk from sdNVP-exposed Ugandan women.
Samples were analyzed using the Roche AMPLICOR HIV-1 Monitor Test Kit, v1.5, and the ViroSeq HIV-1 Genotyping System. NVP concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectroscopy.
HIV genotypes (plasma and breast milk) were obtained for 30 women 4 weeks after sdNVP (HIV subtypes: 15A, 1C, 12D, 2 recombinant). NVP resistance was detected in 12 (40%) of 30 breast milk samples. There was a non-significant trend between detection of NVP resistance in breast milk and plasma (p=0.06). There was no association of HIV resistance in breast milk with median maternal pre-NVP viral load or CD4 cell count, median breast milk viral load at 4 weeks, breast milk sodium >10 mmol/L, HIV subtype, or concentration of NVP in breast milk or plasma.
NVP resistance was frequently detected in breast milk 4 weeks after sdNVP exposure. In this study, we were unable to identify specific factors associated with breast milk NVP resistance.
PMCID: PMC3065236  PMID: 20057308
nevirapine; HIV-1; breast milk; Uganda; vertical transmission; nevirapine resistance

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