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1.  Predischarge Postpartum Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection and Group B Streptococcus Carriage at the Individual and Hospital Levels 
Background. We sought to characterize the relationship between individual group B streptococcus (GBS) colonization and pre-discharge postpartum methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in United States women delivering at term. We also sought to examine the association between hospital GBS colonization prevalence and MRSA infection. Materials and Methods. Data was from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a representative sample of United States community hospitals. Hierarchical regression models were used to estimate odds ratios adjusted for patient age, race, expected payer, and prepregnancy diabetes and hospital teaching status, urbanicity, ownership, size, and geographic region. We used multiple imputation for missing covariate data. Results. There were 3,136,595 deliveries and 462 cases of MRSA infection included in this study. The odds ratio for individual GBS colonization was 1.2 (95% confidence interval: 0.9 to 1.5). For a five-percent increase in the hospital prevalence of GBS colonization, the odds ratio was 0.9 (95% CI: 0.1 to 5.6). Conclusions. The odds ratio estimate for the association of hospital GBS prevalence with MRSA infection is too imprecise to make conclusions about its magnitude and direction. Barring major bias in our estimates, individual GBS carriage does not appear to be strongly associated with predischarge postpartum MRSA infection.
PMCID: PMC3963373
2.  Postnatal Cytomegalovirus Exposure in Infants of Antiretroviral-Treated and Untreated HIV-Infected Mothers 
HIV-1 and CMV are important pathogens transmitted via breastfeeding. Furthermore, perinatal CMV transmission may impact growth and disease progression in HIV-exposed infants. Although maternal antiretroviral therapy reduces milk HIV-1 RNA load and postnatal transmission, its impact on milk CMV load is unclear. We examined the relationship between milk CMV and HIV-1 load (4–6 weeks postpartum) and the impact of antiretroviral treatment in 69 HIV-infected, lactating Malawian women and assessed the relationship between milk CMV load and postnatal growth in HIV-exposed, breastfed infants through six months of age. Despite an association between milk HIV-1 RNA and CMV DNA load (0.39 log10 rise CMV load per log10 rise HIV-1 RNA load, 95% CI 0.13–0.66), milk CMV load was similar in antiretroviral-treated and untreated women. Higher milk CMV load was associated with lower length-for-age (−0.53, 95% CI: −0.96, −0.10) and weight-for-age (−0.40, 95% CI: −0.67, −0.13) Z-score at six months in exposed, uninfected infants. As the impact of maternal antiretroviral therapy on the magnitude of postnatal CMV exposure may be limited, our findings of an inverse relationship between infant growth and milk CMV load highlight the importance of defining the role of perinatal CMV exposure on growth faltering of HIV-exposed infants.
PMCID: PMC3958696  PMID: 24723745
3.  High Rate of Chronic Villitis in Placentas of Pregnancies Complicated by Influenza A/H1N1 Infection 
Introduction. Pandemic influenza A/H1N1 infection during pregnancy has a negative impact on several aspects of pregnancy outcome. As yet, no elucidating mechanism has been revealed for these effects. We investigated whether placentas of pregnancies complicated by 2009 influenza A/H1N1 infection demonstrated an increased rate of chronic villitis and whether this villitis was caused by influenza virus. Methods. We performed a cohort study on 145 pregnant outpatients during the 2009-2010 influenza A H1N1 pandemic. The placentas of patients with influenza infection were examined for histologic signs of chronic villitis. In case of villitis, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on influenza virus was performed on placental tissue. Results. 29 patients had influenza infection. Placentas of 15 of these patients were collected and examined. In 7 cases (47%) chronic villitis was detected. Placental weight and birth weight of the neonates did not differ between cases with and without chronic villitis. In all cases PCR was negative for influenza. Conclusion. In our series, chronic villitis was present in a high proportion of placentas of pregnancies complicated by 2009 influenza A/H1N1 infection. We could not demonstrate the presence of influenza virus in placental tissue.
PMCID: PMC3947755
4.  Performance of BVBlue Rapid Test in Detecting Bacterial Vaginosis among Women in Mysore, India 
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge in reproductive age women. It is associated with increased susceptibility to HIV/STI and adverse birth outcomes. Diagnosis of BV in resource-poor settings like India is challenging. With little laboratory infrastructure there is a need for objective point-of-care diagnostic tests. Vaginal swabs were collected from women 18 years and older, with a vaginal pH > 4.5 attending a reproductive health clinic. BV was diagnosed with Amsel's criteria, Nugent scores, and the OSOM BVBlue test. Study personnel were blinded to test results. There were 347 participants enrolled between August 2009 and January 2010. BV prevalence was 45.1% (95% confidence interval (CI): 41.5%–52.8%) according to Nugent score. When compared with Nugent score, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value for Amsel's criteria and BVBlue were 61.9%, 88.3%, 81.5%, 73.7% and 38.1%, 92.7%, 82.1%, 63.9%, respectively. Combined with a “whiff” test, the performance of BVBlue increased sensitivity to 64.4% and negative predictive value to 73.8%. Despite the good specificity, poor sensitivity limits the usefulness of the BVBlue as a screening test in this population. There is a need to examine the usefulness of this test in other Indian populations.
PMCID: PMC3913452  PMID: 24526829
5.  Silencing Sexually Transmitted Infections: Topical siRNA-Based Interventions for the Prevention of HIV and HSV 
The global impact of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is significant. The sexual transmission of viruses such as herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2) and the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1), has been especially difficult to control. To date, no effective vaccines have been developed to prevent the transmission of these STIs. Although antiretroviral drugs have been remarkably successful in treating the symptoms associated with these viral infections, the feasibility of their widespread use for prevention purposes may be more limited. Microbicides might provide an attractive alternative option to reduce their spread. In particular, topically applied small inhibitory RNAs (siRNAs) have been shown to not only block transmission of viral STIs to mucosal tissues both in vitro and in vivo, but also confer durable knockdown of target gene expression, thereby circumventing the need to apply a microbicide around the time of sexual encounter, when compliance is mostly difficult. Despite numerous clinical trials currently testing the efficacy of siRNA-based therapeutics, they have yet to be approved for use in the treatment of viral STIs. While several obstacles to their successful implementation in the clinic still exist, promising preclinical studies suggest that siRNAs are a viable modality for the future prevention and treatment of HSV and HIV.
PMCID: PMC3913465  PMID: 24526828
6.  Effect of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) and Menopause on Risk of Progression of Cervical Dysplasia in Human Immune-Deficiency Virus- (HIV-) Infected Women 
Background. More HIV-infected women are reaching older age and menopause, but there is limited information on cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs) on these women. Methods. To assess the effect of HAART and menopause on SILs in HIV-infected women, we reviewed the results of Papanicolaou (Pap) tests obtained between 1991 and 2011 on 245 women. Progression to SILs was determined by comparing Pap test results. The association of HAART and transition to menopause on SILs was assessed using survival analysis. Results. Women receiving HAART had a 52% reduced risk in the progression to SILs compared to women receiving any other antiretroviral regimen or no regimen (CI: 0.33–0.70, P = 0.0001). A greater increase of CD4+ cell counts was associated with a greater reduction on the risk of progression to SILs. Menopausal women had a 70% higher risk of progression to SILs than premenopausal women (CI: 1.11–2.62, P < 0.0001), adjusting for HIV medications, CD4+ count, duration of HIV infection, moderation effect of menopause by age, prior IV drug use, and smoking. Conclusion. HAART had a positive long-term effect on the progression to SILs. However, being younger and menopausal increases the risk of progression.
PMCID: PMC3878554  PMID: 24453469
7.  Clinical Characteristics of Turkish Women with Candida krusei Vaginitis and Antifungal Susceptibility of the C. krusei Isolates  
Objective. Candida krusei causes approximately 1% of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) cases and is naturally resistant to fluconazole. Antifungal testing may be required if C. krusei vaginitis fails to respond to non-fluconazole therapy, particularly in patients with recurrent infections. Design. We investigated the clinical characteristics and antifungal susceptibility profile of vaginal C. krusei isolates. Between 2009 and 2012, we identified 560 unrelated Candida spp.-positive vaginal cultures, of which 28 (5.0%) were C. krusei. These isolates were analyzed according to host factors and the clinical forms of VVC, and their in vitro susceptibility to 10 antifungal agents was tested using a reference microdilution method. Results. We observed that perineal laceration and increased age (>50 years) were significant predictors of C. krusei in vaginal samples (P < 0.05). All isolates were susceptible to amphotericin B, caspofungin, ketoconazole, and miconazole. Additionally, susceptible dose-dependent and resistant rates were found for fluconazole as 42.9% and 57.1%, respectively. Remarkably, only 42.9% and 67.9% of the isolates were susceptible to itraconazole and voriconazole, respectively. Conclusions. Understanding local susceptibility patterns, especially those of non-C. albicans Candida species, can significantly aid in the selection of an effective antifungal agent. The in vivo response of C. krusei vaginitis to various antifungal therapeutics remains unknown and requires further research.
PMCID: PMC3874352  PMID: 24396265
8.  Benzoyl Peroxide Formulated Polycarbophil/Carbopol 934P Hydrogel with Selective Antimicrobial Activity, Potentially Beneficial for Treatment and Prevention of Bacterial Vaginosis 
The human vagina is colonized by a variety of indigenous microflora; in healthy individuals the predominant bacterial genus is Lactobacillus while those with bacterial vaginosis (BV) carry a variety of anaerobic representatives of the phylum Actinobacteria. In this study, we evaluated the antimicrobial activity of benzoyl peroxide (BPO) encapsulated in a hydrogel against Gardnerella vaginalis, one of the causative agents of BV, as well as indicating its safety for healthy human lactobacilli. Herein, it is shown that in well diffusion assays G. vaginalis is inhibited at 0.01% hydrogel-encapsulated BPO and that the tested Lactobacillus spp. can tolerate concentrations of BPO up to 2.5%. In direct contact assays (cells grown in a liquid culture containing hydrogel with 1% BPO or BPO particles), we demonstrated that hydrogels loaded with 1% BPO caused 6-log reduction of G. vaginalis. Conversely, three of the tested Lactobacillus spp. were not inhibited while L. acidophilus growth was slightly delayed. The rheological properties of the hydrogel formulation were probed using oscillation frequency sweep, oscillation shear stress sweep, and shear rate sweep. This shows the gel to be suitable for vaginal application and that the encapsulation of BPO did not alter rheological properties.
PMCID: PMC3870611  PMID: 24382940
9.  The Effect of Cotrimoxazole Prophylactic Treatment on Malaria, Birth Outcomes, and Postpartum CD4 Count in HIV-Infected Women 
Background. Limited data exist on cotrimoxazole prophylactic treatment (CPT) in pregnant women, including protection against malaria versus standard intermittent preventive therapy with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp). Methods. Using observational data we examined the effect of CPT in HIV-infected pregnant women on malaria during pregnancy, low birth weight and preterm birth using proportional hazards, logistic, and log binomial regression, respectively. We used linear regression to assess effect of CPT on CD4 count. Results. Data from 468 CPT-exposed and 768 CPT-unexposed women were analyzed. CPT was associated with protection against malaria versus IPTp (hazard ratio: 0.35, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.20, 0.60). After adjustment for time period this effect was not statistically significant (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.28, 1.52). Among women receiving and not receiving CPT, rates of low birth weight (7.1% versus 7.6%) and preterm birth (23.5% versus 23.6%) were similar. CPT was associated with lower CD4 counts 24 weeks postpartum in women receiving (−77.6 cells/μL, 95% CI: −125.2, −30.1) and not receiving antiretrovirals (−33.7 cells/μL, 95% CI: −58.6, −8.8). Conclusions. Compared to IPTp, CPT provided comparable protection against malaria in HIV-infected pregnant women and against preterm birth or low birth weight. Possible implications of CPT-associated lower CD4 postpartum warrant further examination.
PMCID: PMC3865641  PMID: 24363547
10.  Chlamydia trachomatis Infection in HIV-Infected Women: Need for Screening by a Sensitive and Specific Test 
Reproductive tract infection (RTIs)/sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are recognized as a major public health problem, particularly due to their relationship with HIV infection. Early detection and treatment of Chlamydia trachomatis infection (CTI) among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women may impact heterosexual HIV transmission. A total of 120 participants were enrolled: 30 HIV seropositive women with symptoms of RTIs, 30 HIV seropositive women without symptoms of RTIs, 30 HIV seronegative women with symptoms of RTIs, and 30 HIV seronegative women without symptoms of RTIs. One endocervical swab was collected from all participants and CTI was detected by real-time PCR (COBAS TaqMan CT Test, v2.0). CTI was detected in 4 (6.67%) HIV-infected women and in 1 (1.67%) HIV-uninfected woman (OR 4.214; 95% CI 0.457–38.865). Vaginal discharge was present in almost half of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women; lower abdominal pain was present in 11 (18.3%) of HIV-infected and in 9 (15%) of HIV-uninfected women. This study showed that CTI is more prevalent among HIV-infected females as compared to HIV-uninfected females. As the use of real-time PCR is not feasible in most hospitals, efforts should be made to develop a simple, sensitive, and specific test to identify women with CTI for prevention of sequelae and HIV transmission.
PMCID: PMC3870114  PMID: 24382941
11.  The Effects of Anemia on Pregnancy Outcome in Patients with Pyelonephritis 
Objective. Pyelonephritis is a common infectious morbidity of pregnancy. Though anemia is commonly associated with pyelonephritis, there are little data describing the effect of pyelonephritis with anemia on pregnancy outcomes. The purpose of this study was to further assess the association of anemia with infectious morbidity and pregnancy complications among women with pyelonephritis. Study Design. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of pregnant women admitted to Duke University Hospital between July 2006 and May 2012 with pyelonephritis. Demographic, laboratory, and clinical data from the subject's pregnancy and hospitalizations were analyzed. Patients with pyelonephritis and anemia (a hematocrit < 32) were compared to those without anemia. Descriptive statistics were used to compare the two groups. Results. 114 pregnant women were admitted with pyelonephritis and 45 (39.5%) had anemia on admission. There was no significant difference in age, race, preexisting medical conditions, or urine bacterial species between patients with anemia and those without. Women with anemia were more likely to deliver preterm (OR 3.3 (95% CI 1.07, 11.4), P = 0.04). When controlling for race and history of preterm delivery, women with anemia continued to have increased odds of preterm birth (OR 6.0, CI 1.4, 35, P = 0.012). Conclusion. Women with pyelonephritis and anemia are at increased risk for preterm delivery.
PMCID: PMC3863467  PMID: 24369448
12.  Medical and Infectious Complications Associated with Pyelonephritis among Pregnant Women at Delivery 
Objective. Pyelonephritis is a common cause of antepartum admission and maternal morbidity. Medical complications associated with pyelonephritis during delivery are not well described; thus the objective of this study was to estimate medical, infectious, and obstetric complications associated with pyelonephritis during the delivery admission. Study Design. We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) for the years 2008–2010. The NIS was queried for all delivery-related discharges. During the delivery admission, the ICD-9-CM codes for pyelonephritis were used to identify cases and were compared to women without pyelonephritis. A multivariable logistic regression model was constructed for various medical, infectious, and obstetric complications among women with pyelonephritis compared to women without, while controlling for preexisting medical conditions and demographics. Results. During the years 2008–2010, there were 26,397 records with a diagnosis of pyelonephritis during the delivery admission, for a rate of 2.1 per 1000 deliveries. Women with pyelonephritis had increased associated risks for transfusion, need for mechanical ventilation, acute heart failure, pneumonia, pulmonary edema, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, acute renal failure, preterm labor, and chorioamnionitis, while controlling for preexisting medical conditions. Conclusions. Pyelonephritis at delivery admissions is associated with significant medical and infectious morbidity.
PMCID: PMC3804393  PMID: 24194632
13.  Prenatal Ultrasound Screening for Fetal Anomalies and Outcomes in High-Risk Pregnancies due to Maternal HIV Infection: A Retrospective Study 
Objective. To assess the prevalence of prenatal screening and of adverse outcome in high-risk pregnancies due to maternal HIV infection. Study Design. The prevalence of prenatal screening in 330 pregnancies of HIV-positive women attending the department for prenatal screening and/or during labour between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2012, was recorded. Screening results were compared with the postnatal outcome and maternal morbidity, and mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) was evaluated. Results. One hundred of 330 women (30.5%) had an early anomaly scan, 252 (74.5%) had a detailed scan at 20–22 weeks, 18 (5.5%) had a detailed scan prior to birth, and three (0.9%) had an amniocentesis. In seven cases (2.12%), a fetal anomaly was detected prenatally and confirmed postnatally, while in eight (2.42%) an anomaly was only detected postnatally, even though a prenatal scan was performed. There were no anomalies in the unscreened group. MTCT occurred in three cases (0.9%) and seven fetal and neonatal deaths (2.1%) were reported. Conclusion. The overall prevalence of prenatal ultrasound screening in our cohort is 74.5%, but often the opportunity for prenatal ultrasonography in the first trimester is missed. In general, the aim should be to offer prenatal ultrasonography in the first trimester in all pregnancies. This allows early reassurance or if fetal disease is suspected, further steps can be taken.
PMCID: PMC3803124  PMID: 24194633
14.  Inflammation on the Cervical Papanicolaou Smear: Evidence for Infection in Asymptomatic Women? 
Background. The significance of the possible presence of infection on the Pap smear of asymptomatic women based on cytological criteria is practically unknown. Materials and Methods. A total of 1117 asymptomatic nonpregnant women had Pap smear tests and vaginal as well as cervical cultures completed (622 with and 495 without inflammation on the Pap smear). Results. Out of the 622 women with inflammation on Pap test, 251 (40.4%) had negative cultures (normal flora present), while 371 (59.6%) women had positive cultures with different pathogens. In contrast, the group of women without inflammation on Pap test displayed significantly increased percentage of negative cultures (67.1%, P < 0.001) and decreased percentage of positive cultures (32.9%, P < 0.001). Bacterial vaginosis was diagnosed more frequently in both groups and significantly more in the group with inflammation on Pap smear compared to the group without inflammation (P < 0.02). Conclusions. A report of inflammatory changes on the cervical Pap smear cannot be used to reliably predict the presence of a genital tract infection, especially in asymptomatic women. Nevertheless, the isolation of different pathogens in about 60% of the women with inflammation on the Pap smear cannot be overlooked and must be regarded with concern.
PMCID: PMC3800589  PMID: 24204103
15.  Comparison of Pregnancies between Perinatally and Sexually HIV-Infected Women: An Observational Study at an Urban Hospital 
As perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV) women reach reproductive age, there is an increasing number who become pregnant. This is a retrospective cohort study of HIV-infected women who delivered from June 2007 to July 2012 at our institution. Maternal demographics, HIV characteristics, and obstetric and neonatal outcomes were compared. 20 PHIV and 80 SHIV pregnancies were reviewed. The groups had similar CD4+ counts, prevalence of AIDS, and use of antiretrovirals (ARV) at initiation of obstetrical care. PHIV women were significantly more likely to be younger, have a detectable viral load (35% versus 74%, P < 0.01), and have HIV-genotype resistance (40% versus 12%, P < 0.01) than the SHIV women. The median gestational age at delivery (38 weeks) and rates of obstetrical and neonatal complications were similar between the groups. While the overall rate of cesarean delivery (CD) was similar, the rates for CD due to HIV were higher in the PHIV group (64% versus 22%, P < 0.01). There was one case (5.3%) of mother-to-child transmission in the PHIV group versus two cases (2.6%) in the SHIV group. In our population, PHIV pregnant women have a higher rate of HIV-genotype resistance and higher rate of detectable viral load leading to a higher rate of CD secondary to HIV.
PMCID: PMC3782836  PMID: 24106419
16.  Reporting Vaccine Complications: What Do Obstetricians and Gynecologists Know About the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System? 
Background. Obstetrician-gynecologists are increasingly called upon to be vaccinators as an essential part of a woman's primary and preventive health care. Despite the established safety of vaccines, vaccine adverse events may occur. A national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a well-established mechanism to track adverse events. However, we hypothesized that many obstetrician-gynecologists are naive to the role and use of VAERS. Methods. We devised a ten-question survey to a sample of ACOG fellows to assess their knowledge and understanding of VAERS. We performed descriptive and frequency analysis for each of the questions and used one-way analysis of variance for continuous and chi-squared for categorical variables. Results. Of the 1000 fellows who received the survey, 377 responded. Only one respondent answered all nine knowledge questions correctly, and 9.2% of physicians had used VAERS. Older physicians were less familiar with VAERS in general and with the specific objectives of VAERS in particular (χ2 = 10.7, P = .005). Conclusions. Obstetrician-gynecologist familiarity with VAERS is lacking. Only when the obstetrician-gynecologist is completely knowledgeable regarding standard vaccine practices, including the availability and use of programs such as VAERS, will providers be functioning as competent and complete vaccinators.
PMCID: PMC3781918  PMID: 24089592
17.  HPV Infection: Immunological Aspects and Their Utility in Future Therapy 
High prevalence and mortality rates of cervical cancer create an imperative need to clarify the uniqueness of HPV (Human Papillomavirus) infection, which serves as the key causative factor in cervical malignancies. Understanding the immunological details and the microenvironment of the infection can be a useful tool for the development of novel therapeutic interventions. Chronic infection and progression to carcinogenesis are sustained by immortalization potential of HPV, evasion techniques, and alterations in the microenvironment of the lesion. Inside the lesion, Toll-like receptors expression becomes irregular; Langerhans cells fail to present the antigens efficiently, tumor-associated macrophages aggregate resulting in an unsuccessful immune response by the host. HPV products also downregulate the expression of microenvironment components which are necessary for natural-killer cells response and antigen presentation to cytotoxic cells. Additionally HPV promotes T-helper cell 2 (Th2) and T-regulatory cell phenotypes and reduces Th1 phenotype, leading to suppression of cellular immunity and lesion progression to cancer. Humoral response after natural infection is inefficient, and neutralizing antibodies are not adequate in many women. Utilizing this knowledge, new endeavors, such as therapeutic vaccination, aim to stimulate cellular immune response against the virus and alter the milieu of the lesion.
PMCID: PMC3762170  PMID: 24023507
18.  High Prevalence and Genotypic Diversity of the Human Papillomavirus in Amazonian Women, Brazil 
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in a women population living within the state of Amazonas, Brazil, and to determine the viral genotypes found. The study included 361 sexually active women over 18 years of age. We performed the Pap test and the molecular diagnosis for HPV DNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The amplicons obtained were sequenced in automatic sequencer for genotyping. The presence of HPV DNA was found in 29.1% (105) of the women. Only 321 women presented satisfactory slides for cytological diagnosis, 97.9% (314) had normal cytology (negative for cancer), and 2.1% (7) had abnormal cytology (4 ASCUS, 1 LSIL, and 2 HSIL). The types more frequently found were HPV 16 (58.1%) and HPV 58 (20.0%). Additionally, we found more 13 types of HPV. Compared with previous studies in Brazil, our data confirmed a high prevalence and genotypic diversity of HPV in Brazilian women.
PMCID: PMC3755431  PMID: 23997570
19.  Avidity of Antibodies against HSV-2 and Risk to Neonatal Transmission among Mexican Pregnant Women 
Objective. To determine HSV-2 seroprevalence, risk factors, and antibody avidity among a sample of Mexican pregnant women. Material and Methods. The avidity test was standardized with different urea concentrations and incubation times; the cut-off point was calculated to determine the low avidity (early infection). IgG antibodies against HSV-2 were detected from pregnant and postpartum women from Morelos, Mexico, and the avidity test was performed to positive samples. Multivariate regression logistic analysis was employed to evaluate demographic and sexual behavior characteristics associated with HSV-2 infection. Results. HSV-2 seroprevalence among Mexican women analyzed was 14.5% (333/2300), demographic factors (location of General Hospital, age, education level, and civil status), and risky sexual behaviors (STI self-report and number of sexual partners during last year) were associated with HSV-2 infection. Seventeen women were detected with low avidity antibodies (early infection) with a cut-off point of 66.1%. Conclusions. HSV-2 infection was common among this group of women from Mexico; the avidity test detected women with recent infections, and these women were more likely to transmit HSV-2 to their neonates. Neonatal herpes has no epidemiological surveillance, the disease could be overlooked, and so more studies are needed to estimate the magnitude of neonatal infection.
PMCID: PMC3748774  PMID: 23986628
20.  Amniocentesis in HIV Pregnant Women: 16 Years of Experience 
The iatrogenic risk of HIV vertical transmission, calculated in initial epidemiologic studies, seemed to counterindicate invasive prenatal diagnosis (PND) procedures. The implementation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) represented a turning point in PND management, owing to a rapid and effective reduction of maternal viral load (VL). In the present study, we identified cases of vertical transmission in HIV-infected pregnant women who did amniocentesis in the second trimester of pregnancy (n = 27), from 1996 to 2011. We divided our sample into Group A—women under HAART when submitted to amniocentesis (n = 20) and Group B—women without antiretroviral therapy before amniocentesis (n = 7). We had 1 case of vertical transmission in Group B. Preconceptional or early first trimester HIV serology is essential to avoid performing an amniocentesis without antiretroviral therapy or viral suppression. When there is an indication for amniocentesis in an HIV-infected pregnant woman, it should be done if the patient is on HAART and, if possible, when VL is undetectable. Nowadays, with combined first trimester screening test to select pregnancies with high risk of aneuploidies, advanced maternal age is a less frequent indication to perform PND invasive procedures, representing an outstanding gain in prenatal diagnosis of this population.
PMCID: PMC3736457  PMID: 23970821
21.  Multicenter Study of Human Papillomavirus and the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine: Knowledge and Attitudes among People of African Descent 
Objective. To compare knowledge and attitudes of human papillomavirus (HPV) and the vaccine between different cultures of African descent. Methods. A cross-sectional survey of 555 African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans residing in the US and the Bahamas (BHM) was conducted. Results. General knowledge about HPV and the HPV vaccine differed between the two countries significantly. Bahamian respondents were less likely to have higher numbers of correct knowledge answers when compared to Americans (Adjusted Odds Ratio [Adj. OR] 0.47, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 0.30–0.75). Older age, regardless of location, was also associated with answering fewer questions correctly (Adj. OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.40–0.92). Attitudes related to HPV vaccination were similar between the US and BHM, but nearly 80% of BHM respondents felt that children should not be able to receive the vaccine without parental consent compared to 57% of American respondents. Conclusions. Grave lack of knowledge, safety and cost concerns, and influence of parental restrictions may negatively impact vaccine uptake among African-American and Afro-Caribbean persons. Interventions to increase the vaccine uptake in the Caribbean must include medical provider and parental involvement. Effective strategies for education and increasing vaccine uptake in BHM are crucial for decreasing cervical cancer burden in the Caribbean.
PMCID: PMC3730153  PMID: 23956612
22.  Pregnancy and Susceptibility to Infectious Diseases 
To summarize the literature regarding susceptibility of pregnant women to infectious diseases and severity of resulting disease, we conducted a review using a PubMed search and other strategies. Studies were included if they reported information on infection risk or disease outcome in pregnant women. In all, 1454 abstracts were reviewed, and a total of 85 studies were included. Data were extracted regarding number of cases in pregnant women, rates of infection, risk factors for disease severity or complications, and maternal outcomes. The evidence indicates that pregnancy is associated with increased severity of some infectious diseases, such as influenza, malaria, hepatitis E, and herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection (risk for dissemination/hepatitis); there is also some evidence for increased severity of measles and smallpox. Disease severity seems higher with advanced pregnancy. Pregnant women may be more susceptible to acquisition of malaria, HIV infection, and listeriosis, although the evidence is limited. These results reinforce the importance of infection prevention as well as of early identification and treatment of suspected influenza, malaria, hepatitis E, and HSV disease during pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC3723080  PMID: 23935259
23.  Vaginal Colonization by papG Allele II+ Escherichia coli Isolates from Pregnant and Nonpregnant Women as Predisposing Factor to Pyelonephritis 
Vaginal (61) and fecal (61) Escherichia coli isolates from pregnant and nonpregnant women (18–45 years old) were surveyed for papG alleles by PCR technique. papG allele II was the most prevalent among both vaginal (32.7%) and fecal (3.2%) isolates, whereas other alleles were found only among vaginal isolates (1.6% for alleles I and III and 3.2% for alleles II + III). papG+ pregnant women's isolates did not differ significantly from those of nonpregnant in possession of papG allele II (90% versus 73.3%), whereas both (32.7%) differed significantly (P ≤ 0.05) in comparison with fecal isolates (3.2%). The vast majority of papG allele II+ vaginal isolates were clustered in group B2 (81.8%) and much less in group D (18.1%). Also, most of them were positive for fimH (100%), papC (100%), iucC (90.9%), and hly (72.7%), and about half of them were positive for sfa/foc (45.4%). In addition, the mean of VFs' gene possession was 3.5 (range from 2 to 5). It can be concluded that vaginal colonization by papG allele II+ E. coli is possibly one of the predisposing factors of both pregnant and nonpregnant women to pyelonephritis, but its potential may be modified by other factors especially host factors.
PMCID: PMC3703789  PMID: 23861574
24.  Duration of Intrapartum Antibiotics for Group B Streptococcus on the Diagnosis of Clinical Neonatal Sepsis 
Background. Infants born to mothers who are colonized with group B streptococcus (GBS) but received <4 hours of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP) are at-risk for presenting later with sepsis. We assessed if <4 hours of maternal IAP for GBS are associated with an increased incidence of clinical neonatal sepsis. Materials and Methods. A retrospective cohort study of women-infant dyads undergoing IAP for GBS at ≥37-week gestation who presented in labor from January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2007 was performed. Infants diagnosed with clinical sepsis by the duration of maternal IAP received (< or ≥4-hours duration) were determined. Results. More infants whose mothers received <4 hours of IAP were diagnosed with clinical sepsis, 13 of 1,149 (1.1%) versus 15 of 3,633 (0.4%), P = .03. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that treatment with ≥4 hours of IAP reduced the risk of infants being diagnosed with clinical sepsis by 65%, adjusted relative risk 0.35, CI 0.16–0.79, and P = .01. Conclusion. The rate of neonatal clinical sepsis is increased in newborns of GBS colonized mothers who receive <4 hours compared to ≥4 hours of IAP.
PMCID: PMC3625608  PMID: 23606801
25.  Pregnancy Outcomes in HIV-Infected Women Receiving Long-Term Isoniazid Prophylaxis for Tuberculosis and Antiretroviral Therapy 
Objective. While 6- to 12-month courses of isoniazid for tuberculosis prevention are considered safe in pregnant women, the effects of longer-term isoniazid prophylaxis or isoniazid in combination with antiretroviral therapy (ART) are not established in human-immunodeficiency-virus-(HIV-) infected women who experience pregnancy during the course of therapy. Design. Nested study of pregnancy outcomes among HIV-infected women participating in a placebo-controlled, TB-prevention trial using 36 months daily isoniazid. Pregnancy outcomes were collected by interview and record review. Results. Among 196 pregnant women, 103 (52.6%) were exposed to isoniazid during pregnancy; all were exposed to antiretroviral drugs. Prior to pregnancy they had received a median of 341 days (range 1–1095) of isoniazid. We observed no isoniazid-associated hepatitis or other severe isoniazid-associated adverse events in the 103 women. Pregnancy outcomes were 132 term live births, 42 premature births, 11 stillbirths, 8 low birth weight, 6 spontaneous abortions, 4 neonatal deaths, and 1 congenital abnormality. In a multivariable model, neither isoniazid nor ART exposure during pregnancy was significantly associated with adverse pregnancy outcome (adjusted odds ratios 0.6, 95% CI: 0.3–1.1 and 1.8, 95% CI 0.9–3.6, resp.). Conclusions. Long-term isoniazid prophylaxis was not associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm delivery, even in the context of ART exposure.
PMCID: PMC3606726  PMID: 23533318

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