The world health organization (WHO) declared tuberculosis (TB) a global emergency, mainly affecting people in sub-Saharan Africa. However there is little data about the burden of TB among adolescents. We estimated the prevalence and incidence of TB and assessed factors associated with TB among adolescents aged 12–18 years in a rural population in Uganda in order to prepare the site for phase III clinical trials with novel TB vaccines among adolescents.
In a prospective cohort study, we recruited 5000 adolescents and followed them actively, every 6 months, for 1–2 years. Participants suspected of having TB were those who had any of; TB signs and symptoms, history of TB contact or a positive tuberculin skin test (TST) of ≥10 mm. Laboratory investigations included sputum smear microscopy and culture.
Of the 5000 participants, eight culture confirmed cases of TB were found at baseline: a prevalence of 160/100,000 (95% confidence interval (CI), 69–315). There were 13 incident TB cases detected in an average of 1.1 person years: an incidence of 235/100,000 person years (95% CI, 125–402). None of the confirmed TB cases were HIV infected. Predictors for prevalent TB disease were: a history of TB contact and a cough ≥ 2 weeks at baseline and being out of school, while the only predictor for incident TB was a positive TST during follow-up.
The TB incidence among adolescents in this rural part of Uganda seemed too low for a phase III TB vaccine trial. However, the study site demonstrated capability to handle a large number of participants with minimal loss to follow-up and its suitability for future clinical trials. Improved contact tracing in TB program activities is likely to increase TB case detection among adolescents. Future studies should explore possible pockets of higher TB incidence in urban areas and among out of school youth.
The benefits of long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART) are recognized all over the world with infected children maturing into adults and HIV infection becoming a chronic illness. However, the improved survival is associated with serious metabolic complications, including lipodystrophy (LD), dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, lactic acidosis and bone loss. In addition, the dyslipidemia mainly seen with protease inhibitors may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood and potentially in children as they mature into adults. Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, particularly stavudine, zidovudine and didanosine are linked to development of LD and lactic acidosis. Perinatally infected children initiate ART early in life; they require lifelong therapy with multiple drug regimens leading to varying toxicities, all potentially impacting their quality of life. LD has a significant impact on the mental health of older children and adolescents leading to poor self-image, depression and subsequent poor adherence to therapy. Reduced bone mineral density (BMD) is reported in both adults and children on ART with the potential for children to develop more serious bone complications than adults due to their rapid growth spurts and puberty. The role of vitamin D in HIV-associated osteopenia and osteoporosis is not clear and needs further study. Most resource-limited settings are unable to monitor lipid profiles or BMD, exposing infected children and adolescents to on-going toxicities with unclear long-term consequences. Improved interventions are urgently needed to prevent and manage these metabolic complications. Longitudinal cohort studies in this area should remain a priority, particularly in resource-limited settings where the majority of infected children reside.
children; adolescents; HIV; antiretroviral therapy; metabolic complications; cardiovascular disease
There is a critical need for improved diagnosis of tuberculosis in children, particularly in young children with intrathoracic disease as this represents the most common type of tuberculosis in children and the greatest diagnostic challenge. There is also a need for standardized clinical case definitions for the evaluation of diagnostics in prospective clinical research studies that include children in whom tuberculosis is suspected but not confirmed by culture of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A panel representing a wide range of expertise and child tuberculosis research experience aimed to develop standardized clinical research case definitions for intrathoracic tuberculosis in children to enable harmonized evaluation of new tuberculosis diagnostic technologies in pediatric populations. Draft definitions and statements were proposed and circulated widely for feedback. An expert panel then considered each of the proposed definitions and statements relating to clinical definitions. Formal group consensus rules were established and consensus was reached for each statement. The definitions presented in this article are intended for use in clinical research to evaluate diagnostic assays and not for individual patient diagnosis or treatment decisions. A complementary article addresses methodological issues to consider for research of diagnostics in children with suspected tuberculosis.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is known to save lives. Among HIV-infected infants living in resource constrained settings, the short and long term benefits of ART are only partially known. This study was designed to determine the virologic, immunologic and clinical outcomes of antiretroviral therapy in a cohort of HIV-infected infants receiving care from an outpatient clinic in Kampala, Uganda.
A prospective cohort of HIV-infected infants receiving treatment at the Baylor-Uganda clinic was analyzed. Patients were diagnosed, enrolled and followed up at the clinic. HIV viral load, CD4 cell counts and clinical progress were assessed during follow-up. Descriptive statistical analysis and logistic regression modeling to determine predictors of treatment success were conducted.
Of 91 HIV-infected infants enrolled into the cohort, 53 (58.2%) infants were female; 43 (47.3%) were 6 months of age or younger, and 50 (55.6%) had advanced HIV/AIDS disease (Clinical stage 3 or 4). Eighty four infants started ART and 78 (92.9%) completed 6 months of treatments. Fifty six (71.8%) infants attained virologic suppression by month-6 of ART, and at month-12 of ART, the cumulative probability of attaining viral suppression was 83.1%. None of the baseline infant factors (age, sex, WHO stage, CD4 cell percent, weight for age, or height for age z-score) predicted treatment success. There was an increase in CD4 cells from a baseline mean of 23% to 30% at month-6 of treatment (p<0.001) and by month-24 of ART, the mean CD4 percent was 36%. A total of 7 patients died while on ART and another 7 experienced adverse events that were related to treatment.
Our results show that, even among very young patients from resource constrained settings, ART dramatically suppresses HIV replication, allows immune recovery and clinical improvement, and is safe. However, baseline characteristics do not predict recovery in this age group.
Infant; HIV; Antiretroviral therapy; Mortality; Malnutrition
In resource-rich countries, bolus fluid expansion is routinely used for the treatment of poor perfusion and shock, but is less commonly used in many African settings. Controversial results from the recently completed FEAST (Fluid Expansion As Supportive Therapy) trial in African children have raised questions about the use of intravenous bolus fluid for the treatment of shock. Prior to the start of the trial, the Independent data monitoring committee (IDMC) developed stopping rules for the proof of benefit that bolus fluid resuscitation would bring. Although careful safety monitoring was put in place, there was less expectation that bolus fluid expansion would be harmful and differential stopping rules for harm were not formulated.
In July 2010, two protocol amendments were agreed to increase the sample size from 2,880 to 3,600 children, and to increase bolus fluid administration. There was a non-significant trend against bolus treatment, but although the implications were discussed, the IDMC did not comment on the results, or on the amendments, in order to avoid inadvertent partial unblinding of the study.
In January 2011, the trial was stopped for futility, as the combined intervention arms had significantly higher mortality (relative risk 1.46, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.90, P = 0.004) than the control arm. The stopping rule for proof of benefit was not achieved, and the IDMC stopped the trial with a lower level of significance (P = 0.01) due to futility and an increased risk of mortality from bolus fluid expansion in children enrolled in the trial. The basis for this decision was that the local standard of care was not to use bolus fluid for the care of children with shock in these African countries, and this was a different standard of care to that used in the UK. These decisions emphasize two important principles: firstly, the IDMC should avoid inadvertent unblinding of the trial by commenting on amendments, and secondly, when considering stopping a trial, the IDMC should be guided by the local standard of care rather than standards of care in other parts of the world.
The diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis remains a challenge worldwide. The Xpert MTB/RIF test, a rapid mycobacteria tuberculosis diagnostic tool, was recommended for use in children based on data from adult studies. We evaluated the performance of the Xpert MTB/RIF test for the diagnosis of childhood pulmonary tuberculosis using one induced sputum sample and described clinical characteristics associated with a positive Xpert MTB/RIF test. The sputum culture on both Lowenstein-Jensen (LJ) and Mycobacteria Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) was the gold standard.
We consecutively enrolled 250 Ugandan children aged 2 months to 12 years with suspected pulmonary tuberculosis between January 2011 and January 2012 into a cross-sectional diagnostic study at a tertiary care facility in Uganda.
We excluded data from 15 children (13 contaminated culture and 2 indeterminate MTB/RIF test results) and analysed 235 records. The Xpert MTB/RIF test had a sensitivity of 79.4% (95% CI 63.2 - 89.7) and a specificity of 96.5% (95% CI 93 – 98.3). The Xpert MTB/RIF test identified 13 of the 14 (92.9%) smear positive-culture positive and 14 of the 20 (70%) smear negative -culture positive cases. The Xpert MTB/RIF identified twice as many cases as the smear microscopy (79.4% Vs 41.2%). Age > 5 years (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.4 – 7.4, p value 0.005), a history of Tuberculosis (TB) contact (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.1 – 5.2, p value 0.03), and a positive tuberculin skin test (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.7 – 10, p value 0.02) was associated with a positive Xpert MTB/RIF test. The median time to TB detection was 49.5 days (IQR 38.4-61.2) for LJ, and 6 days (IQR 5 – 11.5) for MGIT culture and 2 hours for the Xpert MTB/RIF test.
The Xpert MTB/RIF test on one sputum sample rapidly and correctly identified the majority of children with culture confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis with high specificity.
Children; Pulmonary tuberculosis; Sensitivity; Specificity; Xpert MTB/RIF
Smear microscopy, a mainstay of tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis in developing countries, cannot differentiate M. tuberculosis complex from NTM infection, while pulmonary TB shares clinical signs with NTM disease, causing clinical and diagnostic dilemmas. This study used molecular assays to identify species and assess genotypic diversity of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) isolates from children investigated for pulmonary tuberculosis at a demographic surveillance site in rural eastern Uganda.
Children were investigated for pulmonary tuberculosis as part of a TB vaccine surveillance program (2009–2011). Two cohorts of 2500 BCG vaccinated infants and 7000 adolescents (12–18 years) were recruited and followed up for one to two years to determine incidence of tuberculosis. Induced sputum and gastric aspirates were processed by the standard N-acetyl L-cysteine (NALC)-NaOH method. Sediments were cultured in the automated MGIT (Becton Dickson) liquid culture system and incubated at 37°C for at least six weeks. Capilia TB assay was used to classify mycobacteria into MTC and NTM. The GenoType CM/AS assays were performed to identify species while Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC) PCR genotyping was used to assess genetic diversity of the strains within each species.
Among 2859 infants and 2988 adolescents screened, the numbers of TB suspects were 710 and 1490 infants and adolescents respectively. The prevalence of NTM in infant suspects was 3.7% (26/710) (95% CI 2.5–5.2) while that in adolescent suspects was 4.6% (69/1490) (95% CI 3.6–5.8). On culture, 127 isolates were obtained, 103 of which were confirmed as mycobacteria comprising of 95 NTM and eight M. tuberculosis complex. The Genotype CM/AS assay identified 63 of the 95 NTM isolates while 32 remained un-identified. The identified NTM species were M. fortuitum (40 isolates, 63.5%), M. szulgai (9 isolates, 14.3%), M. gordonae (6 isolates, 9.5%), M. intracellulare (3 isolates, 4.7%), M. scrofulaceum (2 isolates, 3.2%), M. lentiflavum (2 isolates, 3.2%), and M. peregrinum (1 isolate, 1.6%). Genotyping did not reveal any clustering in M. intracellulare, M. gordonae and M. szulgai species. M. fortuitum, on the other hand, had two clusters, one with three isolates of M. fortuitum 1 and the other with two isolates of M. fortuitum 2 subspecies. The remaining 35 of the 40 isolates of M. fortuitum had unique fingerprint patterns.
M. fortuitum is the most common cause of infection by NTM among Infants and adolescents in rural Uganda. There is a varied number of species and genotypes, with minimal clustering within species, suggesting ubiquitous sources of infection to individuals in this community.
A high prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) in children presenting with severe pneumonia has previously been reported in South Africa. However, little is known about TB among children with pneumonia in Uganda and other resource limited countries. Moreover, TB is associated with high morbidity and mortality among such children. We conducted this study to establish the burden of pulmonary TB in children admitted with severe pneumonia in our setting.
A cross-sectional study was conducted at Mulago, a National Referral and teaching hospital in Uganda. Hospitalised children 2 months to 12 years of age with severe pneumonia based on WHO case definition were enrolledfrom February to June 2011. Children with a previous TB diagnosis or receiving anti-TB treatment were excluded. Each child was screened for TB using Tuberculin skin test, Chest X-ray, induced sputum samples and blood culture for mycobacterium. Sputum smears were examined using fluorescent microscopy, and cultured on both Lowenstein Jensen media (LJ) and Mycobacterial Growth Indicator Tubes (MGIT).
Of the 270 children with severe pneumonia who were recruited over a 5-month period in 2011, the incidence ratio of pulmonary TB in children admitted with severe pneumonia was 18.9% (95% CI 14.6 – 23.9). The proportion of culture confirmed PTB was 6.3% (95% CI 3.8 – 9.7). Age group under 1 year and 1 to 5 years (OR 2.8 (95% CI 1.7 – 7.4) and OR 2.4 (95% CI 1.05 – 5.9) respectively) were more likely to be associated with pulmonary TB compared to those children over 5 years of age. A history of TB smear positive contact was associated with pulmonary TB (OR 3.0 (95% CI 1.3–6.5).
We found a high burden of pulmonary TB in children admitted with severe pneumonia. These data highlight the need for TB screening in children admitted with severe pneumonia so as to improve TB case finding and child survival.
Nevirapine given once-daily for the first 6, 14, or 28 weeks of life to infants exposed to HIV-1via breastfeeding reduces transmission through this route compared with single-dose nevirapine at birth or neonatally. We aimed to assess incremental safety and efficacy of extension of such prophylaxis to 6 months.
In our phase 3, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled HPTN 046 trial, we assessed the incremental benefit of extension of once-daily infant nevirapine from age 6 weeks to 6 months. We enrolled breastfeeding infants born to mothers with HIV-1 in four African countries within 7 days of birth. Following receipt of nevirapine from birth to 6 weeks, infants without HIV infection were randomly allocated (by use of a computer-generated permuted block algorithm with random block sizes and stratified by site and maternal antiretroviral treatment status) to receive extended nevirapine prophylaxis or placebo until 6 months or until breastfeeding cessation, whichever came first. The primaryefficacy endpoint was HIV-1 infection in infants at 6 months and safety endpoints were adverse reactions in both groups. We used Kaplan-Meier analyses to compare differences in the primary outcome between groups. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00074412.
Between June 19, 2008, and March 12, 2010, we randomly allocated 1527 infants (762 nevirapine and 765 placebo); five of whom had HIV-1 infection at randomisation and were excluded from the primary analyses. In Kaplan-Meier analysis, 1.1% (95% CI 0.3–1.8) of infants who received extended nevirapine developed HIV-1 between 6 weeks and 6 months compared with 2.4% (1.3–3.6) of controls (difference 1.3%, 95% CI 0–2.6), equating to a 54% reduction in transmission (p=0.049). However, mortality (1.2% for nevirapine vs 1.1% for placebo; p=0.81) and combined HIV infection and mortality rates (2.3% vs 3.2%; p=0.27) did not differ between groups at 6 months. 125 (16%) of 758 infants given extended nevirapine and 116 (15%) of 761 controls had serious adverse events, but frequency of adverse events, serious adverse events, and deaths did not differ significantly between treatment groups.
Nevirapine prophylaxis can safely be used to provide protection from mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 via breastfeeding for infants up to 6 months of age.
US National Institutes of Health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends collection of two sputum samples for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis, with at least one being an early morning (EM) using smear microscopy. It remains unclear whether this is necessary even when sputum culture is employed. Here, we determined the diagnostic yield from spot and the incremental yield from the EM sputum sample cultures among TB-suspected adolescents from rural Uganda.
Sputum samples (both spot and early-morning) from 1862 adolescents were cultured by the Lowenstein-Jensen (LJ) and Mycobacterium Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) methods. For spot samples, the diagnostic yields for TB were 19.0% and 57.1% with LJ and MGIT, respectively, whereas the incremental yields (not totals) of the early-morning sample were 9.5% and 42.9% (P < 0.001) with LJ and MGIT, respectively. Among TB-suspected adolescents in rural Uganda, the EM sputum culture has a high incremental diagnostic yield. Therefore, EM sputum in addition to spot sample culture is necessary for improved TB case detection.
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.
HIV; HIVIGLOB; sdNVP; breastfeeding; PMTCT; Uganda
The proportional odds model may serve as a useful alternative to the Cox proportional hazards model to study association between covariates and their survival functions in medical studies. In this article, we study an extended proportional odds model that incorporates the so-called “external” time-varying covariates. In the extended model, regression parameters have a direct interpretation of comparing survival functions, without specifying the baseline survival odds function. Semiparametric and maximum likelihood estimation procedures are proposed to estimate the extended model. Our methods are demonstrated by Monte-Carlo simulations, and applied to a landmark randomized clinical trial of a short course Nevirapine (NVP) for mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1). Additional application includes analysis of the well-known Veterans Administration (VA) Lung Cancer Trial.
Counting process; Estimating function; HIV/AIDS; Maximum likelihood estimation; Semiparametric model; Time-varying covariate
Andrew Prendergast and colleagues consider the evidence for a change in policy for the treatment of young children infected with HIV.
HIV-infected infants may have CXCR4-using (X4-tropic) HIV, CCR5-using (R5-tropic) HIV, or a mixture of R5-tropic and X4-tropic HIV (dual/mixed, DM HIV). The level of infectivity for R5 virus (R5-RLU) varies among HIV-infected infants. HIV tropism and R5-RLU were measured in samples from HIV-infected Ugandan infants using a commercial assay. DM HIV was detected in 7/72 (9.7%) infants at the time of HIV diagnosis (birth or 6–8 weeks of age, 4/15 (26.7%) with subtype D, 3/57 (5.3 %) with other subtypes, P=0.013). A transition from R5-tropic to DM HIV was observed in only two (6.7%) of 30 infants over 6–12 months. Six (85.7%) of seven infants with DM HIV died, compared to 21/67 (31.3%) infants with R5-tropic HIV (p=0.09). Higher R5-RLU at 6–8 weeks was not associated with decreased survival. Infants with in utero infection had a higher median R5-RLU than infants who were HIV-uninfected at birth (p=0.025).
CCR5; CXCR4; HIV-1; infant; survival; transmission; tropism
HIV viruses are usually genetically homogeneous shortly after infection, and become more heterogeneous over time. We developed a high-resolution melting (HRM) assay to analyze HIV diversity without sequencing. Plasma samples from the HIVNET 012 trial were obtained from nine Ugandan mother–infant pairs. DNA amplified from the HIV gag region was analyzed to determine the number of degrees over which the DNA melted (HRM score). HRM gag DNA was also cloned and sequenced (50 clones/mother; 20 clones/infant). The median HRM score for infants (4.3, range 4.2–5.3) was higher than that for control plasmids (3.4, range 3.2–3.8, p < 0.001) and lower than that for mothers (5.7, range 4.4–7.7, p = 0.005, exact Wilcoxon rank sum test). The intraclass correlation coefficient reflecting assay reproducibility was 94% (95% CI: 89–98%). HRM scores were also compared to sequenced-based measures of HIV diversity; higher HRM scores were associated with higher genetic diversity (p < 0.001), complexity (p = 0.009), and Shannon entropy (p = 0.022), but not with length variation (p = 0.111). The HRM assay provides a novel, rapid method for assessing HIV diversity without sequencing. This assay could be applied to any region of the HIV genome or to other genetic systems that exhibit DNA diversity.
We analyzed drug resistance in HIV-infected Ugandan children who received antiretroviral therapy in a prospective, observational study (2004–2006); some children had prior single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) exposure. Children received stavudine (d4T), lamivudine (3TC), and nevirapine (NVP); treatment was continued if they were clinically and immunologically stable. Samples with >1,000 copies/ml HIV RNA were analyzed by using the ViroSeq HIV Genotyping System (ViroSeq). Subtype A and D pretreatment samples also were analyzed with the LigAmp assay (for K103N, Y181C, and G190A). ViroSeq results were obtained for 74 pretreatment samples (35 from sdNVP-exposed children (median age, 19 months) and 39 from sdNVP-unexposed children (median age, 84 months). This included 39 subtype A, 22 subtype D, 1 subtype C, and 12 inter-subtype recombinant samples. One sample had nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) resistance, one had nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) resistance, and three had protease inhibitor (PI) resistance. Y181C was detected by using LigAmp in five pretreatment samples [four (14.8%) of 37 samples from sdNVP-exposed children, one (4.2%) of 24 samples from children without prior sdNVP exposure; p = 0.35]. Among children who were not virally suppressed at 48 weeks of treatment, all 12 tested had NNRTI resistance, as well as resistance to 3TC and emtricitibine (FTC); three had resistance to other NRTIs. Seven of those children had a ViroSeq result at 96 weeks of treatment; four of the seven acquired resistance to additional NRTIs by 96 weeks. In Uganda, clinically and immunologically stable children receiving nonsuppressive antiretroviral treatment regimens are at risk for development of drug resistance.
Single-dose nevirapine is the cornerstone of the regimen for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in resource-limited settings, but nevirapine frequently selects for resistant virus in mothers and children who become infected despite prophylaxis. The optimal antiretroviral treatment strategy for children who have had prior exposure to single-dose nevirapine is unknown.
We conducted a randomized trial of initial therapy with zidovudine and lamivudine plus either nevirapine or ritonavir-boosted lopinavir in HIV-infected children 6 to 36 months of age, in six African countries, who qualified for treatment according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Results are reported for the cohort that included children exposed to single-dose nevirapine prophylaxis. The primary end point was virologic failure or discontinuation of treatment by study week 24. Enrollment in this cohort was terminated early on the recommendation of the data and safety monitoring board.
A total of 164 children were enrolled. The median percentage of CD4+ lymphocytes was 19%; a total of 56% of the children had WHO stage 3 or 4 disease. More children in the nevirapine group than in the ritonavir-boosted lopinavir group reached a primary end point (39.6% vs. 21.7%; weighted difference, 18.6 percentage-points; 95% confidence interval, 3.7 to 33.6; nominal P = 0.02). Baseline resistance to nevirapine was detected in 18 of 148 children (12%) and was predictive of treatment failure. No significant between-group differences were seen in the rate of adverse events.
Among children with prior exposure to single-dose nevirapine for perinatal prevention of HIV transmission, antiretroviral treatment consisting of zidovudine and lamivudine plus ritonavir-boosted lopinavir resulted in better outcomes than did treatment with zidovudine and lamivudine plus nevirapine. Since nevirapine is used for both treatment and perinatal prevention of HIV infection in resource-limited settings, alternative strategies for the prevention of HIV transmission from mother to child, as well as for the treatment of HIV infection, are urgently required. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00307151.)
The level of viral diversity in an HIV-infected individual can change during the course of HIV infection, reflecting mutagenesis during viral replication and selection of viral variants by immune and other selective pressures. Differences in the level of viral diversity in HIV-infected infants may reflect differences in viral dynamics, immune responses, or other factors that may also influence HIV disease progression. We used a novel high resolution melting (HRM) assay to measure HIV diversity in Ugandan infants and examined the relationship between diversity and survival through 5 years of age.
Plasma samples were obtained from 31 HIV-infected infants (HIVNET 012 trial). The HRM assay was used to measure diversity in two regions in the gag gene (Gag1 and Gag2) and one region in the pol gene (Pol).
HRM scores in all three regions increased with age from 6–8 weeks to 12–18 months (for Gag1: P = 0.005; for Gag2: P = 0.006; for Pol: P = 0.016). Higher HRM scores at 6–8 weeks of age (scores above the 75th percentile) were associated with an increased risk of death by 5 years of age (for Pol: P = 0.005; for Gag1/Gag2 (mean of two scores): P = 0.003; for Gag1/Gag2/Pol (mean of three scores): P = 0.002). We did not find an association between HRM scores and other clinical and laboratory variables.
Genetic diversity in HIV gag and pol measured using the HRM assay was typically low near birth and increased over time. Higher HIV diversity in these regions at 6–8 weeks of age was associated with a significantly increased risk of death by 5 years of age.
To assess serious gastroenteritis risk and mortality associated with early cessation of breastfeeding in infants enrolled in two prevention-of-maternal-to-child-HIV-transmission trials in Uganda.
We used hazard rates to evaluate serious gastroenteritis events by month of age and mortality among HIV-exposed uninfected infants enrolled in the HIVNET 012 (1997-2001) and HIVIGLOB/NVP (2004-2007) trials. HIV-infected mothers were counseled using local infant feeding guidelines current at the time.
Breastfeeding cessation occurred earlier in HIVIGLOB/NVP compared to HIVNET 012 (median 4.0 vs. 9.3 months, p<0.001). Rates of serious gastroenteritis were higher in HIVIGLOB/NVP (8.0/1000 child-months) compared to HIVNET 012 (3.1/1000 child-months; p < 0.001). Serious gastroenteritis events also peaked earlier at 3-4 and 7-8 months (16.2/1000 and 15.0/1000 child-months, respectively) compared to HIVNET 012 at 9 to10 months (20.8/1000 child-months). All cause-infant mortality did not statistically differ between the HIVIGLOB/NVP and the HIVNET 012 trials [3.2/1000 versus 2.0/1000 child-months respectively, (p=0.10)]
Early breastfeeding cessation seen in the HIVIGLOB/NVP trial was associated with increased risk of serious gastroenteritis among HIV-exposed uninfected infants when compared to later breastfeeding cessation in the HIVNET 012 trial. Testing interventions which could decrease HIV transmission through breastfeeding and allow safe breastfeeding into the second year of life are urgently needed.
HIV; infants; breastfeeding cessation; serious gastroenteritis; mortality; Uganda
To determine normal hematologic and selected blood chemistry values among healthy, full-term, non–HIV-exposed infants in Uganda and Malawi, and to determine the proportion of healthy babies with an apparent laboratory toxicity based on Division of AIDS toxicity tables.
This was a cross-sectional laboratory study of infants from birth to 6 months of age.
Blood samples were collected from a total of 561 infants and analyzed according to age categories similar to those in the 2004 Division of AIDS toxicity tables. Select chemistry and hematology parameters were determined and values compared with those in the toxicity tables.
In the first 56 days of life, there were few graded toxicities except for neutropenia in 2 of 10 (20%) Ugandan and 13 of 45 (29%) Malawian infants at birth. After 7 days, about 20% of the infants in Uganda and Malawi would have been classified as having a neutropenia whereas 47% and 53% of those more than 2 months of age in Uganda and Malawi respectively, would have been reported as having an abnormal hemoglobin. Chemistry findings were not different from US norms.
These findings underscore the importance of establishing relevant local laboratory norms for infants.
Division of AIDS; normal laboratory reference values; non–HIV-exposed; toxicity tables; Ugandan; Malawian; infants
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection increases the burden of malaria by increasing susceptibility to infection and decreasing the response to malarial treatment. HIV-1 has also been found to suppress the immune system and predispose to severe forms of malaria in adults. There is still a paucity of data on the association between HIV-1 infection and cerebral malaria in children. The aim of this study was to determine whether HIV-1 infection is a risk factor for cerebral malaria in children.
We conducted an unmatched case-control study, in which 100 children with cerebral malaria were compared with 132 with uncomplicated malaria and 120 with no malaria. In stratified analyses we estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) adjusted for age.
HIV-1 infection was present in 9% of children with cerebral malaria compared to 2.3% in uncomplicated malaria (age-adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 5.94 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.36-25.94, p = 0.012); and 2.5% in children with no malaria (aOR 3.85 (95% CI0.99-14.93, p = 0.037). The age-adjusted odds of being HIV-positive among children with cerebral malaria compared to the control groups (children with uncomplicated malaria and no malaria) was 4.98 (95% CI 1.54-16.07), p-value = 0.003.
HIV-1 infection is associated with clinical presentation of cerebral malaria in children. Clinicians should ensure that children diagnosed with HIV infection are initiated on cotrimoxazole prophylaxis as soon as the diagnosis is made and caretakers counselled on the importance of adherence to the cotrimoxazole towards reducing the risk of acquiring P.falciparum malaria and associated complications such as cerebral malaria. Other malaria preventive measures such as use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets should also be emphasized during counselling sessions.
Accurate incidence estimates are needed for surveillance of the HIV epidemic. HIV surveillance occurs at maternal-child health clinics, but it is not known if pregnancy affects HIV incidence testing.
We used the BED capture immunoassay (BED) and an antibody avidity assay to test longitudinal samples from 51 HIV-infected Ugandan women infected with subtype A, C, D and intersubtype recombinant HIV who were enrolled in the HIVNET 012 trial (37 baseline samples collected near the time of delivery and 135 follow-up samples collected 3, 4 or 5 years later). Nineteen of 51 women were also pregnant at the time of one or more of the follow-up visits. The BED assay was performed according to the manufacturer's instructions. The avidity assay was performed using a Genetic Systems HIV-1/HIV-2 + O EIA using 0.1M diethylamine as the chaotropic agent.
During the HIVNET 012 follow-up study, there was no difference in normalized optical density values (OD-n) obtained with the BED assay or in the avidity test results (%) when women were pregnant (n = 20 results) compared to those obtained when women were not pregnant (n = 115; for BED: p = 0.9, generalized estimating equations model; for avidity: p = 0.7, Wilcoxon rank sum). In addition, BED and avidity results were almost exactly the same in longitudinal samples from the 18 women who were pregnant at only one study visit during the follow-up study (p = 0.6, paired t-test).
These results from 51 Ugandan women suggest that any changes in the antibody response to HIV infection that occur during pregnancy are not sufficient to alter results obtained with the BED and avidity assays. Confirmation with larger studies and with other HIV subtypes is needed.
Scale up of paediatric antiretroviral therapy in resource limited settings continues despite limited access to routine laboratory monitoring. We documented the weight and height responses in HIV infected Ugandan children on highly active antiretroviral therapy and determined clinical factors associated with successful treatment outcomes.
A prospective cohort of HIV infected children were initiated on HAART and followed for 48 weeks. Body mass index for age z scores(BAZ), weight and height-for-age z scores (WAZ & HAZ) were calculated: CD4 cell % and HIV-1 RNA were measured at baseline and every 12 weeks. Treatment outcomes were classified according to; both virological and immunological success (VS/IS), virological failure and immunological success (VF/IS). virological success and immunological failure (VS/IF) and both virological and immunological failure (VF/IF).
From March 2004 until May 2006, 124 HIV infected children were initiated on HAART. The median age (IQR) was 5.0 years (2.1 - 7.0) and 49% (61/124) were female. The median [95% confidence interval (CI)] BAZ, WAZ and HAZ at baseline were 0.29 (-2.9, -1.2), -1.2 (-2.1, -0.5) and -2.06 (-2.9, -1.2) respectively. Baseline median CD4 cell % and log10 HIV-1 RNA were; 11.8% (7.5-18.0) and 5.6 (5.2-5.8) copies/ml. By 48 weeks, mean WAZ and HAZ in the VF/IS group, which was younger, increased from - 0.98 (SD 1.7) to + 1.22 (SD 1.2) and from -1.99 (1.7) to + 0.76 (2.4) respectively. Mean increase in WAZ and HAZ in the VS/IF group, an older group was modest, from -1.84 (1.3) to - 0.41 (1.2) and -2.25 (1.2) to -1.16 (1.3) respectively. Baseline CD4 cell % [OR 6.97 95% CI (2.6 -18.6)], age [OR 4.6 95% CI (1.14 -19.1)] and WHO clinical stage [OR 3.5 95%CI (1.05 -12.7)] were associated with successful treatment outcome.
HIV infected Ugandan children demonstrated a robust increase in height and weight z scores during the first 48 weeks of HAART, including those who failed to completely suppress virus. Older children initiating HAART with severe immune suppression were less likely to achieve a successful treatment outcome. These data emphasize the importance of initiating HAART early to ensure adequate immune and growth responses.
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.
Detailed comparisons of HIV drug resistance assays are needed to identify the most useful assays for research studies, and to facilitate comparison of results from studies that use different methods. We analyzed nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) resistance in 40 HIV-infected Ugandan infants who had received nevirapine (NVP)-based prophylaxis using the following assays: an FDA-cleared HIV genotyping assay (the ViroSeq HIV-1 Genotyping System v2.0), a commercially available HIV genotyping assay (GeneSeq HIV), a commercially available HIV phenotyping assay (PhenoSense HIV), and a sensitive point mutation assay (LigAmp). ViroSeq and GeneSeq HIV results (NVP resistance yes/no) were similar for 38 (95%) of 40 samples. In 6 (15%) of 40 samples, GeneSeq HIV detected mutations in minor subpopulations that were not detected by ViroSeq, which identified two additional infants with NVP resistance. LigAmp detected low-level mutations in 12 samples that were not detected by ViroSeq; however, LigAmp testing identified only one additional infant with NVP resistance. GeneSeq HIV and PhenoSense HIV determinations of susceptibility differed for specific NNRTIs in 12 (31%) of the 39 samples containing mixtures at relevant mutation positions. PhenoSense HIV did not detect any infants with NVP resistance who were not identified with GeneSeq HIV testing. In this setting, population sequencing-based methods (ViroSeq and GeneSeq HIV) were the most informative and had concordant results for 95% of the samples. LigAmp was useful for the detection and quantification of minority variants. PhenoSense HIV provided a direct and quantitative measure of NNRTI susceptibility.