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1.  Maternal Vitamin D Status and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Children from Rural Western Kenya 
Nutrients  2016;8(12):794.
Maternal plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) status and its association with pregnancy outcomes in malaria holoendemic regions of sub-Saharan Africa is poorly defined. We examined this association and any potential interaction with malaria and helminth infections in an ongoing pregnancy cohort study in Kenya. The association of maternal plasma 25(OH)D status with pregnancy outcomes and infant anthropometric measurements at birth was determined in a subset of women (n = 63). Binomial and linear regression analyses were used to examine associations between maternal plasma 25(OH)D and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Fifty-one percent of the women had insufficient (<75 nmol/L) and 21% had deficient (<50 nmol/L) plasma 25(OH)D concentration at enrollment. At birth, 74.4% of the infants had insufficient and 30% had deficient plasma 25(OH)D concentrations, measured in cord blood. Multivariate analysis controlling for maternal age and body mass index (BMI) at enrollment and gestational age at delivery found that deficient plasma 25(OH)D levels were associated with a four-fold higher risk of stunting in neonates (p = 0.04). These findings add to the existing literature about vitamin D and its association with linear growth in resource-limited settings, though randomized clinical trials are needed to establish causation.
doi:10.3390/nu8120794
PMCID: PMC5188449  PMID: 27941597
maternal vitamin D status; pregnancy outcomes; stunting; Africa; malaria and helminth infections
2.  Maternal Human Leukocyte Antigen - A*2301 Is Associated with Increased Mother-to-Child HIV-1 Transmission 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2010;202(8):1273-1277.
We examined associations between maternal HLA and vertical HIV-1 transmission in a perinatal cohort of 277 HIV-infected women in Nairobi. HLA class I genes were amplified using sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes and analyses were performed using logistic regression. Maternal A*2301 was associated with increased transmission risk before and after adjusting for maternal viral load (odds ratio [OR]=3.21; 95% CI: 1.42, 7.27, p=0.005, pcorr=0.04; adjusted OR=3.07; 95% CI: 1.26, 7.51, p=0.01, pcorr=NS). That maternal HLA-A*2301 was associated with transmission independent of plasma HIV-1 RNA levels, suggests that HLA may alter infectivity through mechanisms other than influencing HIV-1 viral load.
doi:10.1086/656318
PMCID: PMC3404885  PMID: 20812845
Human immunodeficiency virus; vertical HIV-1 transmission; human leukocyte antigen
3.  Latent TB detection by interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) in pregnancy predicts active TB and mortality in HIV-1 infected women and their children 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2010;202(12):1826-1835.
Background
We evaluated the prognostic utility of interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) for active tuberculosis (TB) and mortality in Kenyan HIV-1 infected women and their infants.
Methods
Prevalence and correlates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific T-SPOT.TB IGRA positivity were determined during pregnancy in a historical cohort of HIV-1 infected women. Hazard ratios, adjusted for baseline maternal CD4 count (aHRCD4) were calculated for associations between IGRA positivity and risk of active TB and mortality over 2-year postpartum follow-up in women and their infants.
Results
Of 333 women tested, 52 (15.6%) had indeterminate IGRAs. Of the remaining 281 women, 120 (42.7%) had positive IGRAs, which were associated with a 4.5-fold increased risk of active TB [aHRCD4: 4.5; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1–18.0; p=0.03]. Among immunosuppresed women (CD4<250 cell/mm3), positive IGRAs were associated with increased risk of maternal mortality (aHRCD4: 3.5; 95% CI: 1.02–12.1; p=0.045), maternal active TB or mortality (aHRCD4: 5.2; 95% CI: 1.7–15.6; p=0.004) and infant active TB or mortality, overall (aHRCD4: 3.0; 95% CI: 1.0–8.9; p= 0.05) and in HIV-1 exposed uninfected infants (aHRCD4: 7.3; 95% CI: 1.6–33.5; p =0.01).
Conclusions
Positive IGRAs in HIV-1 infected pregnant women were associated with postpartum active TB and mortality in mothers and their infants.
doi:10.1086/657411
PMCID: PMC3058232  PMID: 21067370
Latent tuberculosis infection; HIV-1; women; infants; T-SPOT.TB; IGRA
4.  Latent Tuberculosis Detection by Interferon γ Release Assay during Pregnancy Predicts Active Tuberculosis and Mortality in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1-Infected Women and Their Children 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2010;202(12):1826-1835.
Background. We evaluated the prognostic usefulness of interferon γ release assays (IGRAs) for active tuberculosis and mortality in Kenyan human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected women and their infants.
Methods. Prevalence and correlates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific T-SPOT.TB IGRA positivity were determined during pregnancy in a historical cohort of HIV-1-infected women. Hazard ratios, adjusted for baseline maternal CD4 cell count (aHRCD4), were calculated for associations between IGRA positivity and risk of active tuberculosis and mortality over 2-year postpartum follow-up among women and their infants.
Results. Of 333 women tested, 52 (15.6%) had indeterminate IGRA results. Of the remaining 281 women, 120 (42.7%) had positive IGRA results, which were associated with a 4.5-fold increased risk of active tuberculosis (aHRCD4, 4.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1–18.0; P = .030). For immunosuppressed women (CD4 cell count, <250 cells/µL), positive IGRA results were associated with increased risk of maternal mortality (aHRCD4, 3.5; 95% CI, 1.02–12.1; ), maternal active tuberculosis or mortality (aHRCD4 P = .045 , 5.2; 95% CI, 1.7–15.6; P = .004), and infant active tuberculosis or mortality overall (aHRCD4, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.0–8.9; P = .05) and among HIV-1-exposed uninfected infants (aHRCD4, 7.3; 95% CI, 1.6–33.5; P = .01).
Conclusions. Positive IGRA results for HIV-1-infected pregnant women were associated with postpartum active tuberculosis and mortality among mothers and their infants.
doi:10.1086/657411
PMCID: PMC3058232  PMID: 21067370
5.  Evaluation of a single round polymerase chain reaction assay using dried blood spots for diagnosis of HIV-1 infection in infants in an African setting 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:18.
Background
The aim of this study was to develop an economical 'in-house' single round polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay using filter paper-dried blood spots (FP-DBS) for early infant HIV-1 diagnosis and to evaluate its performance in an African setting.
Methods
An 'in-house' single round PCR assay that targets conserved regions in the HIV-1 polymerase (pol) gene was validated for use with FP-DBS; first we validated this assay using FP-DBS spiked with cell standards of known HIV-1 copy numbers. Next, we validated the assay by testing the archived FP-DBS (N = 115) from infants of known HIV-1 infection status. Subsequently this 'in-house' HIV-1 pol PCR FP-DBS assay was then established in Nairobi, Kenya for further evaluation on freshly collected FP-DBS (N = 186) from infants, and compared with findings from a reference laboratory using the Roche Amplicor® HIV-1 DNA Test, version 1.5 assay.
Results
The HIV-1 pol PCR FP-DBS assay could detect one HIV-1 proviral copy in 38.7% of tests, 2 copies in 46.9% of tests, 5 copies in 72.5% of tests and 10 copies in 98.1% of tests performed with spiked samples. Using the archived FP-DBS samples from infants of known infection status, this assay was 92.8% sensitive and 98.3% specific for HIV-1 infant diagnosis. Using 186 FP-DBS collected from infants recently defined as HIV-1 positive using the commercially available Roche Amplicor v1.5 assay, 178 FP-DBS tested positive by this 'in-house' single-round HIV-1 pol PCR FP-DBS PCR assay. Upon subsequent retesting, the 8 infant FP-DBS samples that were discordant were confirmed as HIV-1 negative by both assays using a second blood sample.
Conclusions
HIV-1 was detected with high sensitivity and specificity using both archived and more recently collected samples. This suggests that this 'in-house' HIV-1 pol FP-DBS PCR assay can provide an alternative cost-effective, reliable and rapid method for early detection of HIV-1 infection in infants.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-11-18
PMCID: PMC3050718  PMID: 21332984

Results 1-6 (6)