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1.  Recent trends in hepatic diseases during pregnancy in the United States, 2002–2010 
While pregnancy-related severe liver disorders are rare, when they occur morbidity and mortality rates are increased for mothers and infants. The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence and trends of hepatic diseases during pregnancy hospitalizations from 2002 through 2010 in the United States.
Hospital discharge data were obtained from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, the largest all-payer hospital inpatient care database in the United States that provides nationally representative estimates. Pregnancy hospitalizations with the following diagnoses were identified: hepatitis B, hepatitis C, gallbladder disease/cholelithiasis, liver disorders of pregnancy, chronic/alcohol-related liver disease, biliary tract disease, and HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelet count) syndrome. Age, insurance status, hospital location, and hospital region were compared among women with and without hepatic diseases using a χ2 test. Trends in rates of pregnancy hospitalizations and mean charges were analyzed using multivariable logistic and linear regression, respectively.
From 2002 through 2010 there were an estimated 41,479,358 pregnancy hospitalizations in the United States. Gallbladder disease and liver disorders of pregnancy were the most common hepatic diseases (rates = 7.18 and 4.65/1000 pregnancy hospitalizations, respectively). Adjusted rates and mean charges significantly increased for all hepatic diseases during pregnancy over the study period. All hepatic diseases were associated with significantly higher charges compared to all pregnancy hospitalizations. HELLP syndrome was associated with the highest mean charges.
This large study among a representative sample of the US population provides valuable information that can aid policy planning and management of these hepatic diseases during pregnancy in the United States.
PMCID: PMC4387015  PMID: 25448511
hepatic disease; hepatitis; liver disease; pregnancy
2.  Impact of Daily Cotrimoxazole on Clinical Malaria and Asymptomatic Parasitemias in HIV-Exposed, Uninfected Infants 
Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis was associated with reduced malaria incidence among human immunodeficiency virus-exposed, uninfected infants. Cotrimoxazole's protective benefits were more pronounced on asymptomatic infections, potentially affecting the malaria reservoir responsible for transmission. Therefore, cotrimoxazole prophylaxis may have important individual and public health benefits.
Background. Cotrimoxazole preventive therapy (CPT) is recommended for all human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–exposed infants to avoid opportunistic infections. Cotrimoxazole has antimalarial effects and appears to reduce clinical malaria infections, but the impact on asymptomatic malaria infections is unknown.
Methods. We conducted an observational cohort study using data and dried blood spots (DBSs) from the Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals and Nutrition study to evaluate the impact of CPT on malaria infection during peak malaria season in Lilongwe, Malawi. We compared malaria incidence 1 year before and after CPT implementation (292 and 682 CPT-unexposed and CPT-exposed infants, respectively), including only infants who remained HIV negative by 36 weeks of age. Malaria was defined as clinical, asymptomatic (using DBSs at 12, 24, and 36 weeks), or a composite outcome of clinical or asymptomatic. Linear and binomial regression with generalized estimating equations were used to estimate the association between CPT and malaria. Differences in characteristics of parasitemias and drug resistance polymorphisms by CPT status were also assessed in the asymptomatic infections.
Results. CPT was associated with a 70% (95% confidence interval, 53%–81%) relative reduction in the risk of asymptomatic infection between 6 and 36 weeks of age. CPT appeared to provide temporary protection against clinical malaria and more sustained protection against asymptomatic infections, with no difference in parasitemia characteristics.
Conclusions. CPT appears to reduce overall malaria infections, with more prolonged impacts on asymptomatic infections. Asymptomatic infections are potentially important reservoirs for malaria transmission. Therefore, CPT prophylaxis may have important individual and public health benefits.
PMCID: PMC4542924  PMID: 25900173
antifolate resistance; cotrimoxazole; HIV; infant; malaria
3.  Antiretroviral treatment is associated with iron deficiency in HIV-infected Malawian women that is mitigated with supplementation, but is not associated with infant iron deficiency during 24 weeks of exclusive breastfeeding 
In resource-limited settings without safe alternatives to breastfeeding, the WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding and antiretroviral (ARV) prophylaxis. Given the high prevalence of anemia among HIV-infected women, mothers and their infants (via fetal iron accretion) may be at risk of iron deficiency. We assessed the effects of maternal micronutrient-fortified lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) and maternal ARV treatment or infant ARV prophylaxis on maternal and infant iron status during exclusive breastfeeding from birth to 24 weeks.
The Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals, and Nutrition Study was a randomized controlled trial conducted in Lilongwe, Malawi from 2004-2010. HIV-infected mothers (CD4>200 cells/ul) and their infants were randomly assigned to 28-week interventions: maternal-LNS/maternal-ARV (n=424), maternal-LNS/infant-ARV (n=426), maternal-LNS (n=334), maternal-ARV (n=425), infant-ARV (n=426), or control (n=334). Longitudinal models tested intervention effects on hemoglobin (Hb). In a subsample (n=537) with multiple iron indicators, intervention effects on Hb, transferrin receptors (TfR) and ferritin were tested with linear and Poisson regression.
In longitudinal models, LNS effects on maternal and infant Hb were minimal. In subsample mothers, maternal ARVs were associated with tissue iron depletion (TfR>8.3 mg/L) (Risk ratio (RR): 3.1, p<0.01), but not in ARV-treated mothers receiving LNS (p=0.17). LNS without ARVs, was not associated with iron deficiency or anemia (p>0.1). In subsample infants, interventions were not associated with impaired iron status (all p-values>0.1).
Maternal ARV treatment with protease inhibitors is associated with maternal tissue iron depletion; but LNS mitigates adverse effects. ARVs do not appear to influence infant iron status; however, extended use needs to be evaluated.
PMCID: PMC4506710  PMID: 25723140
4.  Thiamin and Riboflavin in Human Milk: Effects of Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplementation and Stage of Lactation on Vitamer Secretion and Contributions to Total Vitamin Content 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(2):e0149479.
While thiamin and riboflavin in breast milk have been analyzed for over 50 years, less attention has been given to the different forms of each vitamin. Thiamin-monophosphate (TMP) and free thiamin contribute to total thiamin content; flavin adenine-dinucleotide (FAD) and free riboflavin are the main contributors to total riboflavin. We analyzed milk collected at 2 (n = 258) or 6 (n = 104), and 24 weeks (n = 362) from HIV-infected Malawian mothers within the Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals and Nutrition (BAN) study, randomly assigned at delivery to lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) or a control group, to investigate each vitamer’s contribution to total milk vitamin content and the effects of supplementation on the different thiamin and riboflavin vitamers at early and later stages of lactation, and obtain insight into the transport and distribution of these vitamers in human milk. Thiamin vitamers were derivatized into thiochrome-esters and analyzed by high-performance liquid-chromatography-fluorescence-detection (HPLC-FLD). Riboflavin and FAD were analyzed by ultra-performance liquid-chromatography-tandem-mass-spectrometry (ULPC-MS/MS). Thiamin-pyrophosphate (TPP), identified here for the first time in breast milk, contributed 1.9–4.5% to total thiamin. Free thiamin increased significantly from 2/6 to 24 weeks regardless of treatment indicating an active transport of this vitamer in milk. LNS significantly increased TMP and free thiamin only at 2 weeks compared to the control: median 170 versus 151μg/L (TMP), 13.3 versus 10.5μg/L (free thiamin, p<0.05 for both, suggesting an up-regulated active mechanism for TMP and free thiamin accumulation at early stages of lactation. Free riboflavin was consistently and significantly increased with LNS (range: 14.8–19.6μg/L (LNS) versus 5.0–7.4μg/L (control), p<0.001), shifting FAD:riboflavin relative amounts from 92–94:6–8% to 85:15%, indicating a preferred secretion of the free form into breast milk. The continuous presence of FAD in breast milk suggests an active transport and secretion system for this vitamer or possibly formation of this co-enymatic form in the mammary gland.
PMCID: PMC4757446  PMID: 26886782
5.  Adherence to extended postpartum antiretrovirals is associated with decreased breastmilk HIV-1 transmission: Results of the BAN study 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(18):2739-2749.
Estimate association between postpartum antiretroviral adherence and breastmilk HIV-1 transmission
Prospective cohort study
Mother-infant pairs were randomized after delivery to immediately begin receiving 28 weeks of either triple maternal antiretrovirals (zidovudine, lamivudine, and either nevirapine, nelfinavir, or lopinavir-ritonavir) or daily infant nevirapine as part of the Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals, and Nutrition study. Associations between postpartum antiretroviral adherence and rate of breastmilk HIV-1 transmission were estimated using Cox models. We measured adherence over four postpartum time intervals using pill count, suspension bottle weight, and maternal self-report. Adherence was categorized and lagged by one interval. Missing adherence measures were multiply imputed. Infant HIV-1 infection was determined by DNA PCR every 2-6 weeks. The primary endpoint was infant HIV-1 infection by 38 weeks of age among infants alive and uninfected at 5 weeks.
Analyses included 1479 mother-infant pairs and 45 transmission events. Using pill count and bottle weight information, 22-40% of mother-infant pairs at any given interval were <90% adherent. Having ≥90% adherence was associated with a 52% (95% CI 3-76%) relative reduction in the rate of breastmilk HIV-1 transmission, compared with having <90% adherence when controlling for study arm, breastfeeding status, and maternal characteristics. Complete case analysis rendered similar results (n=501; relative reduction 59%, 95% CI 6-82%).
Non-adherence to extended postpartum ART regimens in ‘real world’ settings is likely to be higher than that seen in BAN. Identifying mothers with difficulty adhering to antiretrovirals, and developing effective adherence interventions, will help maximize benefits of ARV provision throughout breastfeeding.
PMCID: PMC4397579  PMID: 25493600
adherence; antiretroviral; breastfeeding; HIV transmission; PMTCT
6.  Health outcomes of HIV-exposed uninfected African infants 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(5):749-759.
To evaluate severe (grade 3/4) morbidity and mortality in HIV-exposed, uninfected infants.
Secondary data analysis of The Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals, and Nutrition (BAN) clinical trial.
BAN randomized 2369 mother–infant pairs to maternal, infant, or no extended antiretroviral prophylaxis during breastfeeding. Morbidity outcomes examined were pneumonia/serious febrile illness, diarrhea/growth faltering, and malaria. Infant death was defined as neonatal (≤ 30 days of life), and postneonatal (31 days to 48 weeks of life). Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate the effect of covariates on infant morbidity and mortality.
The rate of pneumonia/serious febrile illness was highest in the first 12 weeks (0.83/100 person-weeks) before rapidly decreasing; rates of all morbidity outcomes increased after 24 weeks. Rates of pneumonia/serious febrile illness and diarrhea/growth faltering were higher during the rainy season. Prophylactic infant cotrimoxazole significantly decreased the rates of all morbidity outcomes. White blood cell (WBC) count less than 9000/μl at birth was associated with increased diarrhea/growth faltering [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 1.73, P = 0.04] and malaria (aHR 2.18, P = 0.02). Low birth weight (2000–2499 g) was associated with neonatal death (aHR 12.3, P <0.001). Factors associated with postneonatal death included rainy season (aHR 4.24, P = 0.002), infant cotrimoxazole (aHR 0.48, P = 0.03), and low infant WBC count at birth (aHR 2.53, P = 0.02).
Infant morbidity rates increased after 24 weeks, when BAN infants weaned. Introduction of prophylactic cotrimoxazole was associated with reduced rates of morbidity and mortality in HIV-exposed uninfected infants. Unexpectedly, a low WBC count at birth was significantly associated with later infant morbidity and mortality in this cohort.
PMCID: PMC4493890  PMID: 23719347
Africa; HIV; HIV-exposed; infant; morbidity; mortality; pediatric
7.  The Role of Co-Infections in Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV§ 
Current HIV research  2013;11(1):10-23.
In HIV-infected women, co-infections that target the placenta, fetal membranes, genital tract, and breast tissue, as well as systemic maternal and infant infections, have been shown to increase the risk for mother-to-child transmission of HIV (MTCT). Active co-infection stimulates the release of cytokines and inflammatory agents that enhance HIV replication locally or systemically and increase tissue permeability, which weakens natural defenses to MTCT. Many maternal or infant co-infections can affect MTCT of HIV, and particular ones, such as genital tract infection with herpes simplex virus, or systemic infections such as hepatitis B, can have substantial epidemiologic impact on MTCT. Screening and treatment for co-infections that can make infants susceptible to MTCT in utero, peripartum, or postpartum can help reduce the incidence of HIV infection among infants and improve the health of mothers and infants worldwide.
PMCID: PMC4411038  PMID: 23305198
Co-infections; HIV; infections; infant; mother-to-child transmission
8.  Contraceptive Availability During an Emergency Response in the United States 
Journal of women's health (2002)  2013;22(3):189-193.
This article provides the evidence for contraceptive need to prevent unintended pregnancy during an emergency response, discusses the most appropriate types of contraceptives for disaster situations, and details the current provisions in place to provide contraceptives during an emergency response.
PMCID: PMC4388024  PMID: 23421580
9.  Antiretroviral pharmacokinetics in mothers and breastfeeding infants from 6 to 24 weeks post partum: results of the BAN Study 
Antiviral therapy  2014;19(6):587-595.
An intensive, prospective, open-label pharmacokinetic (PK) study in a subset of HIV-infected mothers and their uninfected infants enrolled in the Breastfeeding, Antiretroviral, and Nutrition study was performed to describe drug exposure and antiviral response.
Women using Combivir®[zidovudine (ZDV)+ lamivudine (3TC)]+Aluvia®[lopinavir/ritonavir(LPV/RTV)] were enrolled. Breast milk (BM) and mother and infant plasma (MP, IP) samples were obtained over 6hrs after observed dosing at 6, 12, or 24wks post-partum for drug concentrations and HIV RNA.
30 mother/infant pairs (10 each at 6, 12,and 24wks post-partum) were enrolled. Relative to MP, BM concentrations of ZDV and 3TC were 35% and 21% higher, while LPV and RTV were 80% lower. Only 3TC was detected in IP with concentrations 96% and 98% lower than MP and BM, respectively. Concentrations in all matrices were similar at 6-24wks. The majority (98.3%) of BM concentrations were >HIVwt IC50, with one having detectable virus. There was no association between PK parameters and MP or BM HIV RNA.
ZDV and 3TC concentrated in BM while LPV and RTV did not, possibly due to protein binding and drug transporter affinity. Undetectable to low ARV concentrations in IP suggests prevention of transmission while breast feeding may be due to ARV effects on systemic or BM HIV RNA in the mother. Low IP 3TC exposure may predispose an infected infant to HIV resistance, necessitating testing and treating infants early.
PMCID: PMC4110187  PMID: 24464632
10.  Maternal and infant antiretroviral regimens to prevent postnatal HIV-1 transmission: 48-week follow-up of the BAN randomised controlled trial 
Lancet  2012;379(9835):2449-2458.
In resource-limited settings where no safe alternative to breastfeeding exists, WHO recommends that antiretroviral prophylaxis be given to either HIV-infected mothers or infants throughout breastfeeding. We assessed the effect of 28 weeks of maternal or infant antiretroviral prophylaxis on postnatal HIV infection at 48 weeks.
The Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals, and Nutrition (BAN) Study was undertaken in Lilongwe, Malawi, between April 21, 2004, and Jan 28, 2010. 2369 HIV-infected breastfeeding mothers with a CD4 count of 250 cells per μL or more and their newborn babies were randomly assigned with a variable-block design to one of three, 28-week regimens: maternal triple antiretroviral (n=849); daily infant nevirapine (n=852); or control (n=668). Patients and local clinical staff were not masked to treatment allocation, but other study investigators were. All mothers and infants received one dose of nevirapine (mother 200 mg; infant 2 mg/kg) and 7 days of zidovudine (mother 300 mg; infants 2 mg/kg) and lamivudine (mothers 150 mg; infants 4 mg/kg) twice a day. Mothers were advised to wean between 24 weeks and 28 weeks after birth. The primary endpoint was HIV infection by 48 weeks in infants who were not infected at 2 weeks and in all infants randomly assigned with censoring at loss to follow-up. This trial is registered with, number NCT00164736.
676 mother–infant pairs completed follow-up to 48 weeks or reached an endpoint in the maternal-antiretroviral group, 680 in the infant-nevirapine group, and 542 in the control group. By 32 weeks post partum, 96% of women in the intervention groups and 88% of those in the control group reported no breastfeeding since their 28-week visit. 30 infants in the maternal-antiretroviral group, 25 in the infant-nevirapine group, and 38 in the control group became HIV infected between 2 weeks and 48 weeks of life; 28 (30%) infections occurred after 28 weeks (nine in maternal-antiretroviral, 13 in infant-nevirapine, and six in control groups). The cumulative risk of HIV-1 transmission by 48 weeks was significantly higher in the control group (7%, 95% CI 5–9) than in the maternal-antiretroviral (4%, 3–6; p=0·0273) or the infant-nevirapine (4%, 2–5; p=0·0027) groups. The rate of serious adverse events in infants was significantly higher during 29–48 weeks than during the intervention phase (1·1 [95% CI 1·0–1·2] vs 0·7 [0·7–0·8] per 100 person-weeks; p<0·0001), with increased risk of diarrhoea, malaria, growth faltering, tuberculosis, and death. Nine women died between 2 weeks and 48 weeks post partum (one in maternal-antiretroviral group, two in infant-nevirapine group, six in control group).
In resource-limited settings where no suitable alternative to breastfeeding is available, antiretroviral prophylaxis given to mothers or infants might decrease HIV transmission. Weaning at 6 months might increase infant morbidity
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
PMCID: PMC3661206  PMID: 22541418
11.  Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection among human immunodeficiency virus-1-infected pregnant women in Malawi: The BAN study☆ 
In Sub-Saharan Africa, prevalence estimates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) vary widely.
To assess the prevalence of HCV infection among HIV-infected, pregnant women screened for a large clinical trial in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Study design
Plasma from 2041 HIV-infected, pregnant women was screened for anti-HCV IgG using a chemiluminiscent immunometric assay (CIA). Specimens with a signal-cut-off ratio ≥ 1.00 were considered reactive and those with S/Co ratio < 1.00 non-reactive. All CIA-reactive specimens were tested by a recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA) for anti-HCV and by PCR for HCV RNA.
Of 2041 specimens, 110 (5.3%, 95% CI: 4.5–6.5%) were CIA reactive. Of the 109 CIA reactive specimens available for RIBA testing, 2 (1.8%) were positive, 28 (25.7%) were indeterminate, and 79 (72.5%) were negative. All CIA-reactive specimens were HCV RNA negative (n = 110). The estimated HCV prevalence based on the screening assay alone was 5.3%; based on supplemental RIBA testing, the status of HCV infection remained indeterminate in 1.4% (28/2040, 95% CI: 0.1–2.0) and the prevalence of confirmed HCV infections was 0.1% (2/2040, 95% CI: 0–0.4%).
HCV seroprevalence among HIV-infected, pregnant women in Malawi confirmed by supplemental RIBA HCV 3.0 is low (0.1%); CIA showed a high false-reactivity rate in this population.
PMCID: PMC3652577  PMID: 22658797
HIV; HCV; Pregnant women; Malawi
12.  Maternal or Infant Antiretroviral Drugs to Reduce HIV-1 Transmission 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;362(24):2271-2281.
We evaluated the efficacy of a maternal triple-drug antiretroviral regimen or infant nevirapine prophylaxis for 28 weeks during breast-feeding to reduce postnatal transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in Malawi.
We randomly assigned 2369 HIV-1–positive, breast-feeding mothers with a CD4+ lymphocyte count of at least 250 cells per cubic millimeter and their infants to receive a maternal antiretroviral regimen, infant nevirapine, or no extended postnatal antiretroviral regimen (control group). All mothers and infants received perinatal prophylaxis with single-dose nevirapine and 1 week of zidovudine plus lamivudine. We used the Kaplan–Meier method to estimate the cumulative risk of HIV-1 transmission or death by 28 weeks among infants who were HIV-1–negative 2 weeks after birth. Rates were compared with the use of the log-rank test.
Among mother–infant pairs, 5.0% of infants were HIV-1–positive at 2 weeks of life. The estimated risk of HIV-1 transmission between 2 and 28 weeks was higher in the control group (5.7%) than in either the maternal-regimen group (2.9%, P = 0.009) or the infant-regimen group (1.7%, P<0.001). The estimated risk of infant HIV-1 infection or death between 2 and 28 weeks was 7.0% in the control group, 4.1% in the maternal-regimen group (P = 0.02), and 2.6% in the infant-regimen group (P<0.001). The proportion of women with neutropenia was higher among those receiving the antiretroviral regimen (6.2%) than among those in either the nevirapine group (2.6%) or the control group (2.3%). Among infants receiving nevirapine, 1.9% had a hypersensitivity reaction.
The use of either a maternal antiretroviral regimen or infant nevirapine for 28 weeks was effective in reducing HIV-1 transmission during breast-feeding. ( number, NCT00164736.)
PMCID: PMC3440865  PMID: 20554982

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