There are potential health risks associated with the use of early weaning to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV in resource-poor settings. Our objective was to examine growth and nutrient inadequacies among a cohort of children weaned early. Children participating in the Breastfeeding Antiretrovirals and Nutrition (BAN) Study in Lilongwe, Malawi, had HIV-infected mothers, were weaned at 6 months and fed LNS until 12 months. 40 HIV-negative, BAN-exited children were compared to 40 HIV-negative, community children matched on age, gender and local health clinic. Nutrient intake was calculated from 24-hour dietary recalls collected from BAN-exited children. Anthropometric measurements were collected from BAN-exited and matched community children at 15-16 months, and 2 months later. Longitudinal random effects sex-stratified models were used to evaluate anthropometric differences between the 2 groups. BAN-exited children consumed adequate energy, protein, and carbohydrates but inadequate amounts of fat. The prevalence of inadequate micronutrient intakes were: 46% for vitamin A; 20% for vitamin B6; 69% for folate; 13% for vitamin C; 19% for iron; 23% for zinc. Regarding growth, BAN-exited girls gained weight at a significantly lower rate (0.02g/kg/day [95%CI: 0.01, 0.03] than their matched comparison (0.05g/kg/day [95%CI: 0.03, 0.07]); BAN girls grew significantly slower (0.73cm/month [95%CI: 0.40,1.06]) than their matched comparison (1.55cm/month [95%CI: 0.98, 2.12]). Among this sample of BAN-exited children, early weaning was associated with dietary deficiencies and girls experienced reduced growth velocity. In resource-poor settings, HIV prevention programs must ensure that breastfeeding stop only once a nutritionally adequate and safe diet without breastmilk can be provided.
LNS; early breastfeeding cessation; HIV; Malawi; child growth
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.
Diet is a modifiable factor that can contribute to the health of pregnant women. In a sample of 577 HIV-positive pregnant women who completed baseline interviews for the Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals, and Nutrition Study in Lilongwe, Malawi, cluster analysis was used to derive dietary patterns. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify associations between the dietary patterns and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), arm muscle area (AMA), arm fat area (AFA), and hemoglobin at baseline. Three key dietary patterns were identified: animal-based, plant-based, and grain-based. Women with relatively greater wealth were more likely to consume the animal-based diet, which had the highest intake of energy, protein, and fat and was associated with higher hemoglobin levels compared to the other diets. Women with the lowest wealth were more likely to consume the grain-based diet with the lowest intake of energy, protein, fat, and iron and were more likely to have lower AFA than women on the animal-based and plant-based diets, but higher AMA compared to women on the animal-based diet. Pregnant, HIV-infected women in Malawi could benefit from nutritional support to ensure greater nutrient diversity during pregnancy, when women face increased nutrient demands to support fetal growth and development.
maternal diet; nutrition; pregnancy; HIV; anthropometry; Malawi; cluster analysis
Previous studies have found social cognitive theory (SCT)-framed interventions are successful for improving condom use and reducing sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We conducted a secondary analysis of behavioural data from the Safe in the City intervention trial (2003–2005) to investigate the influence of SCT constructs on study participants’ self-reported use of condoms at last intercourse.
The main trial was conducted from 2003 to 2005 at three public US STI clinics. Patients (n=38 635) were either shown a ‘safer sex’ video in the waiting room, or received the standard waiting room experience, based on their visit date. A nested behavioural assessment was administered to a subsample of study participants following their index clinic visit and again at 3 months follow-up. We used multivariable modified Poisson regression models to examine the relationships among SCT constructs (sexual self-efficacy, self-control self-efficacy, self-efficacy with most recent partner, hedonistic outcome expectancies and partner expected outcomes) and self-reported condom use at last sex act at the 3-month follow-up study visit.
Of 1252 participants included in analysis, 39% reported using a condom at last sex act. Male gender, homosexual orientation and single status were significant correlates of condom use. Both unadjusted and adjusted models indicate that sexual self-efficacy (adjusted relative risk (RRa)=1.50, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.84), self-control self-efficacy (RRa=1.67, 95% CI 1.37 to 2.04), self-efficacy with most recent partner (RRa=2.56, 95% CI 2.01 to 3.27), more favourable hedonistic outcome expectancies (RRa=1.83, 95% CI 1.54 to 2.17) and more favourable partner expected outcomes (RRa=9.74, 95% CI 3.21 to 29.57) were significantly associated with condom use at last sex act.
Social cognitive skills, such as self-efficacy and partner expected outcomes, are an important aspect of condom use behaviour.
Trial registration number
SEXUAL MEDICINE; SOCIAL MEDICINE; PUBLIC HEALTH
Objective. The purpose of this study was to describe the epidemiology of coinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV among a cohort of pregnant Thai women. Methods. Samples from 1771 pregnant women enrolled in three vertical transmission of HIV studies in Bangkok, Thailand, were tested for HCV.
Results. Among HIV-infected pregnant women, HCV seroprevelance was 3.8% and the active HCV infection rate was 3.0%. Among HIV-uninfected pregnant women, 0.3% were HCV-infected. Intravenous drug use by the woman was the factor most strongly associated with HCV seropositivity. Among 48 infants tested for HCV who were born to HIV/HCV coinfected women, two infants were HCV infected for an HCV transmission rate of 4.2% (95% 0.51–14.25%).
Conclusions. HCV seroprevalence and perinatal transmission rates were low among this Thai cohort of HIV-infected pregnant women.
GB virus C (GBV-C) may have a beneficial impact on HIV disease progression; however, the epidemiologic characteristics of this virus are not well characterized. Behavioral factors and gender may lead to differential rates of GBV-C infection; yet, studies have rarely addressed GBV-C infections in women or racial/ethnic minorities. Therefore, we evaluated GBV-C RNA prevalence and genotype distribution in a large prospective study of high-risk women in the US.
438 hepatitis C virus (HCV) seropositive women, including 306 HIV-infected and 132 HIV-uninfected women, from the HIV Epidemiologic Research Study were evaluated for GBV-C RNA. 347 (79.2%) women were GBV-C RNA negative, while 91 (20.8%) were GBV-C RNA positive. GBV-C positive women were younger than GBV-C negative women. Among 306 HIV-infected women, 70 (22.9%) women were HIV/GBV-C co-infected. Among HIV-infected women, the only significant difference between GBV-negative and GBV-positive women was age (mean 38.4 vs. 35.1 years; p<0.001). Median baseline CD4 cell counts and plasma HIV RNA levels were similar. The GBV-C genotypes were 1 (n = 31; 44.3%), 2 (n = 36; 51.4%), and 3 (n = 3; 4.3%). The distribution of GBV-C genotypes in co-infected women differed significantly by race/ethnicity. However, median CD4 cell counts and log10 HIV RNA levels did not differ by GBV-C genotype. GBV-C incidence was 2.7% over a median follow-up of 2.9 (IQR: 1.5, 4.9) years, while GBV-C clearance was 35.7% over a median follow-up of 2.44 (1.4, 3.5) years. 4 women switched genotypes.
Age, injection drug use, a history of sex for money or drugs, and number of recent male sex partners were associated with GBV-C infection among all women in this analysis. However, CD4 cell count and HIV viral load of HIV/HCV/GBV-C co-infected women were not different although race was associated with GBV-C genotype.
To determine medical eligibility for contraceptive use, contraceptive preference, and acceptance of a copper intrauterine device (IUD) among a cohort of HIV-infected women receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART).
All HIV-infected women who received ART and sought contraceptive services at the Lighthouse clinic, an integrated HIV/ART clinic in Lilongwe, Malawi, between August and December 2010 were invited to participate in a structured interview. Eligibility and preference for the following contraceptive methods were assessed: combined hormonal contraceptives, progestogen-only pills, copper IUD, injectable depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), and contraceptive implants.
The final sample included 281 women; five were pregnant. The remaining 276 women were eligible for at least three contraceptive methods, with 242 (87.7%) eligible for all five methods evaluated. After counseling, 163 (58.0%) selected DMPA and 98 (34.9%) selected an IUD as their preferred contraceptive method. Regardless of their method of choice, 222 (79.0%) women agreed to have an IUD placed on the same day.
Most methods of contraception are safe for use by HIV-infected women. Approximately 80% of the women were willing to receive an IUD. Efforts must be made to increase education about, and access to, long-acting reversible methods that may be acceptable and appropriate contraceptive options for HIV-infected women.
Antiretroviral therapy; Contraception; HIV; Intrauterine contraception; Intrauterine device; Malawi; Medical eligibility
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 ClinicalTrials.gov, 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.
Background. Increased intestinal permeability may be one of the mechanisms of transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to infants through breast-feeding. Intestinal permeability correlates with microbial translocation, which can be measured through quantification of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS).
Methods. We evaluated levels of plasma LPS (by the Limulus amebocyte lysate assay) and immune activation markers in serial specimens from infants exposed to but uninfected with HIV and infants infected with HIV from the Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals, and Nutrition (BAN) study.
Results. Plasma LPS levels increased after infants in the BAN study were weaned from the breast, at 24 weeks of age. Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis was associated with higher plasma LPS levels (P = .004). Infants with HIV infection had higher LPS levels, compared with uninfected infants (P = .004). Higher preinfection plasma LPS levels were a significant predictor of infant HIV infection through breast-feeding (hazard ratio = 1.60 for every unit increase in plasma LPS level; P = .01) and of lower infant length-for-age z scores (P = .02).
Conclusions. These findings suggest that disruption in intestinal integrity is a mechanism of HIV transmission to infants through breast-feeding. Weaning from breast milk and use of antibiotic prophylaxis was associated with increased levels of microbial translocation, which could facilitate HIV entry through the intestine. Complementary approaches to enhance intestinal mucosal integrity in the infant may further reduce breast-feeding transmission of HIV.
HIV; infant; breast-feeding; microbial translocation; immune activation; intestinal permeability
To evaluate contraceptive adherence to the copper intrauterine device (Cu-IUD) and the injectable depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) among women with HIV in Lilongwe, Malawi.
We randomized 200 HIV-infected women on HAART to either the Cu-IUD or DMPA and followed these women prospectively, evaluating adherence and factors associated with nonadherence.
There was no difference in contraceptive adherence: 68% of Cu-IUD and 65% of DMPA users were adherent at 48 weeks. Receiving first-choice contraceptive was not associated with adherence. Women commonly cited partner’s disapproval as an indication for discontinuation. Women who experienced heavy menstruation and first-time contraceptive users were more likely to be nonadherent. Among ongoing users at study conclusion, 95% were happy with their method, and 98% would recommend their method to a friend.
Contraceptive adherence between the Cu-IUD and DMPA was similar at 1 year. With similar adherence and similar high rates of satisfaction among users of both methods at 1 year, the Cu-IUD offers a hormone-free alternative to DMPA.
Adherence to the Cu-IUD and DMPA is similar at 1 year among HIV-infected women on HAART in a randomized controlled trial. Despite high method satisfaction, partner disapproval and heavy bleeding contribute to reduced adherence. Receiving a method that differs from participant’s first-choice method did not influence adherence.
HIV; Contraception; Adherence; IUD; Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate; DMPA
Persistent high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) is a necessary and causal factor of cervical cancer. Most women naturally clear HPV infections; however, the biological mechanisms related to HPV pathogenesis have not been clearly elucidated. Host genetic factors that specifically regulate immune response could play an important role. All HIV-positive women in the HIV Epidemiology Research Study (HERS) with a HR-HPV infection and at least one follow-up biannual visit were included in the study. Cervicovaginal lavage samples were tested for HPV using type-specific HPV hybridization assays. Type-specific HPV clearance was defined as two consecutive HPV-negative tests after a positive test. DNA from participants was genotyped for 196,524 variants within 186 known immune related loci using the custom ImmunoChip microarray. To assess the influence of each single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) with HR-HPV clearance, the Cox proportional hazards model with the Wei-Lin-Weissfeld approach was used, adjusting for CD4+ count, low risk HPV (LR-HPV) co-infection, and relevant confounders. Three analytical models were performed: race-specific (African Americans (n = 258), European Americans (n = 87), Hispanics (n = 55), race-adjusted combined analysis, and meta-analysis of pooled independent race-specific analyses. Women were followed for a median time of 1,617 days. Overall, three SNPs (rs1112085, rs11102637, and rs12030900) in the MAGI-3 gene and one SNP (rs8031627) in the SMAD3 gene were associated with HR-HPV clearance (p<10−6). A variant (rs1633038) in HLA-G were also significantly associated in African American. Results from this study support associations of immune-related genes, having potential biological mechanism, with differential cervical HR-HPV infection outcomes.
Research on interventions to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is heavily influenced by participant reporting of sexual behavior, despite uncertainty about its validity. Exclusive reliance on participant self-report often is based, overtly or by implication, on 4 assumptions: (1) no feasible alternatives exist; (2) misreporting can be minimized to levels that can be disregarded; (3) misreporting tends to underreport sensitive behaviors; and (4) misreporting tends to be nondifferential with respect to the groups being compared. The objective of this review are to evaluate these assumptions, including a review of studies using semen biomarkers to evaluate the validity of self-reported data, and to make recommendations for applying biological markers of semen exposure detectable in women to further strengthen research on HIV/STI prevention. Increasing evidence shows that semen biomarkers provide an important means of assessing and augmenting the validity of studies on HIV/STI prevention. Additional biomarkers are needed to assess male exposure to vaginal sex and both male and female exposure to anal sex. Methods and study designs that incorporate biomarkers into studies collecting self-reported behavioral data should be considered where possible.
Emerging infections, many of them zoonotic, are caused by a wide variety of pathogens with global distribution. Their impact on women is similarly diverse. Pathogens that were previously rare are emerging in recent years to cause disease in new populations, and global travel facilitates their rapid spread across continents. Finally, human encroachment on previously remote areas has brought people into contact with zoonotic diseases and vectors never before characterized. Although systematic study of rare outbreaks can be challenging, our knowledge of emerging pathogens and their differential effects on women, including those who are pregnant, has started to accumulate. We discuss the effects on women of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, West Nile virus, SARS coronavirus, avian influenza A (H5N1), virus, and the viral hemorrhagic fevers. We also explore the spirochetal illnesses and Chagas disease as they pertain to the pregnant patient. Finally, we review the potential impact of candidate bioterror agents on the female population, and address related issues of prophylaxis and therapy.
Empirical research on informed consent has shown that study participants often do not fully understand consent information. This study assessed participant understanding of three mock consent approaches describing an HIV-prevention clinical trial in Lilongwe, Malawi prior to trial implementation. Pregnant women (n = 297) were systematically selected from antenatal-care waiting lines and sequentially allocated to receive an enhanced standard consent form (group 1), a context-specific consent form (group 2), or context-specific counseling cards (group 3). Understanding of research concepts and study procedures was assessed immediately postintervention and at 1-week follow-up. At postintervention, participants in groups 2 and 3 understood more about research concepts and study procedures compared with group 1. Group 3 participants also understood more about study procedures compared with group 2. At follow-up, participants in groups 2 and 3 continued to understand more about research concepts and study procedures. Context-specific approaches improved understanding of consent information in this study.
Informed consent; Evaluation; Comprehension; Africa
The World Health Organization guidelines recommend cotrimoxazole prophylactic treatment (CPT) for all HIV-exposed infants from age 6 weeks to the cessation of breastfeeding and the exclusion of HIV infection. There are limited data about the effects of CPT among this population of infants. We examined the effects of CPT on adverse health outcomes among HIV-exposed infants during the first 36 weeks of life by using data from the Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals, and Nutrition (BAN) study, a large clinical trial of antiretroviral drugs given to the mother or infant for prevention of HIV transmission during breastfeeding.
For the analysis, we assigned a status of CPT-exposed to infants who were participating in the study after the CPT program started. We estimated unadjusted and adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for the effect of CPT status on time to incident malaria, severe illness or death, anemia, and weight-for-age Z score < −2.0. Participation in the study was limited to focus exclusively on HIV-exposed, uninfected infants.
The HR for the effect of CPT on incident malaria was 0.35 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.21, 0.57) during the first 10 weeks of CPT exposure, and 0.93 (95% CI: 0.67, 1.29) for the remaining 20 weeks. CPT was not associated with the other outcomes examined.
CPT offered temporary protection against malaria among HIV-exposed, uninfected infants. However, CPT offered no protection against anemia, low weight for age, or the collapsed outcome of severe illness or death.
HIV; malaria; cotrimoxazole; infants
The effectiveness of counseling messages to avoid unprotected sex during short-term treatment for curable sexually transmitted infections is unknown.
We randomized 300 female STI clinic patients 18 years or older with cervicitis and/or vaginal discharge in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2010 to 2011, to 1 of 2 counseling messages for their course of syndromic treatment: abstinence only or abstinence backed up by condom use. At a follow-up visit 6 days afterward, we collected vaginal swabs to test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a biological marker of recent semen exposure, and administered a questionnaire assessing sexual behavior.
No differences were found in the proportions of women testing positive for PSA at follow-up in the abstinence-plus-condom group (11.9%) and abstinence-only group (8.4%) (risk difference, 3.5; 95% confidence interval, −3.5 to 10.5). There also was no significant difference in reporting of unprotected sex between groups. Reporting a history of condom use before enrollment significantly modified the effect of counseling arm on PSA positivity (P = 0.03). Among those reporting recent condom use, 10.3% in the abstinence-only arm and 4.8% in the abstinence-plus-condom arm tested positive for PSA. Conversely, among those not reporting recent condom use, 6.5% in the abstinence-only arm and 17.3% in the abstinence-plus-condom arm had PSA detected.
We found no evidence to support the superiority of either counseling message. Post hoc analyses suggest that women with recent condom experience may benefit significantly more from abstinence-plus-condom messages, whereas women without such experience may benefit significantly more from abstinence-only messages. Providers should weigh individual condom use history when determining the most appropriate counseling message.
Clinical recommendations for the prevention and treatment of anthrax among pregnant women are updated.
In August 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in partnership with the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, convened a meeting of national subject matter experts to review key clinical elements of anthrax prevention and treatment for pregnant, postpartum, and lactating (P/PP/L) women. National experts in infectious disease, obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine, neonatology, pediatrics, and pharmacy attended the meeting, as did representatives from professional organizations and national, federal, state, and local agencies. The meeting addressed general principles of prevention and treatment for P/PP/L women, vaccines, antimicrobial prophylaxis and treatment, clinical considerations and critical care issues, antitoxin, delivery concerns, infection control measures, and communication. The purpose of this meeting summary is to provide updated clinical information to health care providers and public health professionals caring for P/PP/L women in the setting of a bioterrorist event involving anthrax.
Bacillus anthracis; anthrax; antibacterial agents; antimicrobial drugs; pregnancy; postpartum period; lactation; breast-feeding; bacteria; women; treatment; antibiotics; antitoxins; PEP; postexposure prophylaxis; vaccine; vaccination; Suggested citation for this article: Meaney-Delman D, Zotti ME, Creanga AA, Misegades LK, Wako E, Treadwell TA, et al; Workgroup on Anthrax in Pregnant and Postpartum Women. Special considerations for prophylaxis for and treatment of anthrax in pregnant and postpartum women. Emerg Infect Dis [Internet]. 2014 Feb [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2002.130611
A pooled analysis of individual data from >5000 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)–infected mothers and their infants from Africa and India who participated in 5 randomized trials shows that extended prophylaxis with nevirapine or with nevirapine and zidovudine significantly reduces postnatal HIV-1 infection.
Background. In resource-limited settings, mothers infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) face a difficult choice: breastfeed their infants but risk transmitting HIV-1 or not breastfeed their infants and risk the infants dying of other infectious diseases or malnutrition. Recent results from observational studies and randomized clinical trials indicate daily administration of nevirapine to the infant can prevent breast-milk HIV-1 transmission.
Methods. Data from 5396 mother-infant pairs who participated in 5 randomized trials where the infant was HIV-1 negative at birth were pooled to estimate the efficacy of infant nevirapine prophylaxis to prevent breast-milk HIV-1 transmission. Four daily regimens were compared: nevirapine for 6 weeks, 14 weeks, or 28 weeks, or nevirapine plus zidovudine for 14 weeks.
Results. The estimated 28-week risk of HIV-1 transmission was 5.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.3%–7.9%) for the 6-week nevirapine regimen, 3.7% (95% CI, 2.5%–5.4%) for the 14-week nevirapine regimen, 4.8% (95% CI, 3.5%–6.7%) for the 14-week nevirapine plus zidovudine regimen, and 1.8% (95% CI, 1.0%–3.1%) for the 28-week nevirapine regimen (log-rank test for trend, P < .001). Cox regression models with nevirapine as a time-varying covariate, stratified by trial site and adjusted for maternal CD4 cell count and infant birth weight, indicated that nevirapine reduces the rate of HIV-1 infection by 71% (95% CI, 58%–80%; P < .001) and reduces the rate of HIV infection or death by 58% (95% CI, 45%–69%; P < .001).
Conclusions. Extended prophylaxis with nevirapine or with nevirapine and zidovudine significantly reduces postnatal HIV-1 infection. Longer duration of prophylaxis results in a greater reduction in the risk of infection.
breast milk; HIV; nevirapine
Immunologic changes of pregnancy may increase susceptibility to certain intracellular pathogens.
A key component of the response to emerging infections is consideration of special populations, including pregnant women. Successful pregnancy depends on adaptation of the woman's immune system to tolerate a genetically foreign fetus. Although the immune system changes are not well understood, a shift from cell-mediated immunity toward humoral immunity is believed to occur. These immunologic changes may alter susceptibility to and severity of infectious diseases in pregnant women. For example, pregnancy may increase susceptibility to toxoplasmosis and listeriosis and may increase severity of illness and increase mortality rates from influenza and varicella. Compared with information about more conventional disease threats, information about emerging infectious diseases is quite limited. Pregnant women's altered response to infectious diseases should be considered when planning a response to emerging infectious disease threats.
emerging infectious diseases; pregnancy; immunology; synopsis
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.
Research on the determinants of condom use and condom non-use generally has relied on self-reported data with questionable validity. We identified predictors of recent, unprotected sex among 331 female sex workers in Madagascar using two outcome measures: self-reports of unprotected sex within the past 48 h and detection of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a biological marker of recent semen exposure. Multivariable logistic regression revealed that self-reported unprotected sex was associated with three factors: younger age, having a sipa (emotional partner) in the prior seven days, and no current use of hormonal contraception. The sole factor related to having PSA detected was prevalent chlamydial infection (adjusted odds ratio, 4.5; 95% confidence interval, 2.0–10.1). Differences in predictors identified suggest that determinants of unprotected sex, based on self-reported behaviors, might not correlate well with risk of semen exposure. Caution must be taken when interpreting self-reported sexual behavior measures or when adjusting for them in analyses evaluating interventions for the prevention of HIV/STIs.
Female sex workers; Condoms; Biological markers; Prostate-specific antigen; Africa
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.
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.
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.
HIV; HCV; Pregnant women; Malawi
Viral diversity is a hallmark of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection; however, only limited data are available regarding HCV variability in extrahepatic sites, and none have systematically compared diversity in non-structural and structural genomic regions. Therefore, HCV diversity in the NS5B and envelope 1 (E1) hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) genes was evaluated in matched sera and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained from 13 HCV-infected women. Multiple clonal sequences were compared to evaluate quasispecies diversity and viral compartmentalization in PBMCs.
Genetic distances were higher for E1/HVR1 compared to NS5B in both the sera and PBMCs (p = 0.0511 and p = 0.0284). Genetic distances were higher in serum NS5B compared to PBMC NS5B (p = 0.0003); however, they were not different when comparing E1/HVR1 in sera to PBMCs. By phylogenetic analysis of NS5B, evidence of possible PBMC compartmentalization was observed for 1 woman, while statistical methods were consistent with PBMC compartmentalization for 6 women. Evidence of compartmentalization within a non-structural genomic region may suggest that viral adaptation to a unique extracellular microenvironment(s) may be required for efficient replication and could contribute to HCV persistence.
NS5B; HVR1; diversity; quasispecies; extrahepatic replication
The Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for the Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals, and Nutrition study, a clinical trial aimed to prevent postnatal HIV transmission, recommended halting randomization to the enhanced standard-of-care (control) arm. The 67 mother-infant pairs on the control arm and less than 21 weeks postpartum at the time of the DSMB recommendation were read a script informing them of the DSMB decision and offering them the the maternal or infant antiretroviral interventions for the remainder of the 28-week breastfeeding period. This paper describes the BAN study response to the DSMB decision and what the women on the control arm chose, when given a choice to start the maternal or infant antiretroviral interventions.
Postnatal HIV transmission; breastfeeding; antiretorival prophylaxis