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1.  Acute Infectious Morbidity in Multiple Gestation 
Objectives. Physiologic and immunologic changes in pregnancy result in increased susceptibility to infection. These shifts are more pronounced in pregnancies complicated by multiple gestation. The objective of this study was to determine the association between multiple gestation and risk of infectious morbidity. Study Design. The Nationwide Inpatient Sample for the years 2008–2010 was used to identify pregnant women during admission for delivery with International Classification of Diseases codes. Logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for demographic data, preexisting medical conditions, and acute medical and infectious complications for women with multiple versus singleton gestations. Results. Among women with multiple gestation, 38.4 per 1,000 women had an infectious complication compared to 12.8 per 1,000 women with singletons. The most significant infectious morbidity associated with multiple gestation was intestinal infections, pyelonephritis, influenza, and pneumonia. After controlling for confounding variables, infectious complications at delivery persisted for women with multiples, though the association was dependent on mode of delivery. Conclusions. Women with multiple gestations are at increased risk for infectious morbidity identified at the time of delivery. This association was diminished among women who had a cesarean suggesting that operative delivery is not responsible for this association.
PMCID: PMC4313678
2.  Antiviral Treatment among Pregnant Women with Chronic Hepatitis B 
Objective. To describe the antiviral treatment patterns for chronic hepatitis B (CHB) among pregnant and nonpregnant women. Methods. Using 2011 MarketScan claims, we calculated the rates of antiviral treatment among women (aged 10–50 years) with CHB. We described the pattern of antiviral treatment during pregnancy and ≥1 month after delivery. Results. We identified 6274 women with CHB during 2011. Among these, 64 of 507 (12.6%) pregnant women and 1151 of 5767 (20.0%) nonpregnant women received antiviral treatment (P < 0.01). Pregnant women were most commonly prescribed tenofovir (73.4%) and lamivudine (21.9%); nonpregnant women were most commonly prescribed tenofovir (50.2%) and entecavir (41.3%) (P < 0.01). Among 48 treated pregnant women with an identifiable delivery date, 16 (33.3%) were prescribed an antiviral before pregnancy and continued treatment for at least one month after delivery; 14 (29.2%) started treatment during the third trimester and continued at least one month after delivery. Conclusion. Among this insured population, pregnant women with CHB received an antiviral significantly less often than nonpregnant women. The most common antiviral prescribed for pregnant women was tenofovir. These data provide a baseline for assessing changes in treatment patterns with anticipated increased use of antivirals to prevent breakthrough perinatal hepatitis B virus infection.
PMCID: PMC4274824  PMID: 25548510
3.  Safer Conception Needs for HIV Prevention among Female Sex Workers in Burkina Faso and Togo 
Background. Reproductive health programming for female sex workers (FSW) may include contraceptive services but rarely addresses safer pregnancy planning. Methods. Adult FSW were enrolled into a cross-sectional study across four sites in Burkina Faso and Togo using respondent-driven sampling. Sociobehavioral questionnaires and HIV counseling and testing were administered. Sample statistics and engagement in HIV treatment were described and compared using Chi-squared statistics. Results. 1,349 reproductive-aged FSW were enrolled from January to July 2013. Overall, 267 FSW (19.8%) were currently trying to conceive. FSW trying to conceive were more likely to test positive for HIV at enrollment as compared to women not trying to become pregnant (24.5% versus 17.7%, P < 0.01); however awareness of HIV status was similar across groups. Among FSW trying to conceive, 79.0% (211/267) had previously received HIV testing, yet only 33.8% (23/68) of HIV-infected FSW reported a previous HIV diagnosis. Overall 25.0% (17/68) of HIV-infected FSW trying to conceive were on antiretroviral therapy. Conclusion. FSW frequently desire children. However engagement in the HIV prevention and treatment cascade among FSW trying to conceive is poor potentiating periconception transmission risks to partners and infants. Programs to facilitate earlier HIV diagnosis for FSW and safer conception counseling are needed as components of effective combination HIV prevention services.
PMCID: PMC4227409  PMID: 25404849
4.  Cervical Dysplasia and High-Risk Human Papillomavirus Infections among HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Adolescent Females in South Africa 
Background. HIV-infected adolescents may be at higher risk for high-grade cervical lesions than HIV-uninfected adolescents. The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence of high-risk HPV (HR-HPV) infections and Pap smear abnormalities between these two groups. Methods. In this cross-sectional study, we compared the HPV DNA and Pap smear results between 35 HIV-infected and 50 HIV-uninfected adolescents in order to determine the prevalence of HR-HPV genotypes and cervical cytological abnormalities. Comparisons were made using Pearson χ2 and independent-samples t-tests analyses, and associations between demographic and behavioral characteristics and HPV infections were examined. Results. HIV-infected participants were more likely to be infected with any HPV (88.6% versus 48.0%; P < 0.001) and with at least one HR-HPV (60.0% versus 24.0%; P = 0.001), and to have multiple concurrent HPV infections (68.6% versus 22.0%; P < 0.001). HPV 16 and 18 were relatively underrepresented among HR-HPV infections. Abnormal Pap test results were more common among HIV-infected participants (28.8% versus 12.0%; P = 0.054). A history of smoking was associated with HR-HPV infection. Conclusions. HIV-infected adolescents have an increased risk of infection with HR-HPV and of Pap test abnormalities. The majority of HR-HPV infections among our participants would not be prevented by the currently available vaccinations against HPV.
PMCID: PMC4217359  PMID: 25389377
5.  Antenatal Atazanavir: A Retrospective Analysis of Pregnancies Exposed to Atazanavir 
Introduction. There are few data regarding the tolerability, safety, or efficacy of antenatal atazanavir. We report our clinical experience of atazanavir use in pregnancy. Methods. A retrospective medical records review of atazanavir-exposed pregnancies in 12 London centres between 2004 and 2010. Results. There were 145 pregnancies in 135 women: 89 conceived whilst taking atazanavir-based combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), “preconception” atazanavir exposure; 27 started atazanavir-based cART as “first-line” during the pregnancy; and 29 “switched” to an atazanavir-based regimen from another cART regimen during pregnancy. Gastrointestinal intolerance requiring atazanavir cessation occurred in five pregnancies. Self-limiting, new-onset transaminitis was most common in first-line use, occurring in 11.0%. Atazanavir was commenced in five switch pregnancies in the presence of transaminitis, two of which discontinued atazanavir with persistent transaminitis. HIV-VL < 50 copies/mL was achieved in 89.3% preconception, 56.5% first-line, and 72.0% switch exposures. Singleton preterm delivery (<37 weeks) occurred in 11.7% preconception, 9.1% first-line, and 7.7% switch exposures. Four infants required phototherapy. There was one mother-to-child transmission in a poorly adherent woman. Conclusions. These data suggest that atazanavir is well tolerated and can be safely prescribed as a component of combination antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC4190692  PMID: 25328370
6.  Maternal β-Hemolytic Streptococcal Pharyngeal Exposure and Colonization in Pregnancy 
Objectives. To report the pharyngeal colonization rate of β-hemolytic streptococci and changes in the value of antistreptolysin O (ASO) and anti-DNase B serology titers during pregnancy. Methods. Healthy pregnant women were recruited and blood was drawn in each trimester. The upper limit of normal (ULN) values for ASO and anti-DNase B was calculated for each trimester. Throat swabs were collected for culture and positive cultures were further assessed for the identification of serogroup of the isolated β-hemolytic streptococcus. Results. Out of a total of 126 pregnant women, 34.1% had positive throat cultures. Group C and group G strains were isolated in 18.2% of throat cultures while group F was detected in 13.5% of cases. The rate of colonization with GAS was 1.6%. There was an overall drop in ASO titer during pregnancy while anti-DNase B titers remained relatively unchanged. ULN values of 164IU, 157IU, and 156IU were calculated for ASO at the first, second, and third trimesters, respectively. Based on the ULN values, 28.6% of patients had recent streptococcal exposure. Conclusions. These results show that pregnant women act as a reservoir for spreading potentially immunogenic (groups C and G) and disease producing (group F) virulent strains of streptococci.
PMCID: PMC4158157  PMID: 25210420
7.  Frequent Genital HSV-2 Shedding among Women during Labor in Soweto, South Africa 
Background. Despite high herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) incidence and prevalence among women in Africa, we are unaware of published neonatal herpes reports. To assess neonatal HSV transmission potential in South Africa, we investigated the frequency of the strongest risk factors: HSV acquisition in late pregnancy and HSV shedding during labor. Methods. Women admitted in early labor to a hospital in Soweto underwent HSV serologic testing and genital swab collection for HSV PCR. HSV-2 seronegative women were assessed for seroconversion 4–6 weeks after delivery. Results. Of 390 women enrolled, 229 (58.7%) were HSV-2 seropositive. Genital HSV-2 was detected in 17.2% of HSV-2 seropositive women, including 26 of 115 HIV-positive and 13 of 110 HIV-negative women (22.6% versus 11.8%; RR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.04–3.53; P = 0.038), but in none of 161 HSV-2 seronegative women. Among the 91 HSV-2 seronegative women followed after delivery, none seroconverted. Conclusions. HSV-2 reactivation is common among South African women during labor, especially those with HIV coinfection. To determine the epidemiology of neonatal herpes in South Africa and to investigate whether the lack of reported cases is due to alterations in immune control or HSV-2 virulence, studies evaluating acutely ill neonates for HSV and studies of maternal HSV-2 shedding patterns are needed.
PMCID: PMC4054931  PMID: 24963269
8.  Determinants of Symptomatic Vulvovaginal Candidiasis among Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infected Women in Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa 
Introduction. We sought to determine the association between HIV-induced immunosuppression, virologic correlates, and vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). Methods. This is a retrospective cohort study, where HIV infected and uninfected women were studied with VVC being the primary outcome. Ninety-seven HIV-infected and 101 HIV-uninfected women were enrolled between June and December 2011. Cases of VVC were confirmed. HIV RNA load was determined by RT-PCR and CD4 counts were obtained from medical records. Results. Fifty-two of 97 (53.6%) HIV-infected and 38/101 (37.6%) HIV-uninfected women were diagnosed with VVC (P = 0.032). The relative risk for VVC amongst HIV-infected patients was 1.53 (95% CI: 1.04–2 P = 0.024). Cases of VVC increased at CD4+ T cell count below 200 cells/mm3 (P < 0.0001) and plasma HIV RNA load above 10 000 copies/mL (P < 0.0001). VVC was associated with increased genital shedding of HIV (P = 0.002), and there was a linear correlation between plasma HIV load and genital HIV shedding (r = 0.540; R2 = 0.292; P < 0.0001). Women on HAART were 4-fold less likely (P = 0.029) to develop VVC. Conclusion. CD4 counts below 200 cells/mm3 and plasma HIV loads ≥10 000 copies/mL were significantly associated with VVC.
PMCID: PMC4000633  PMID: 24812479
9.  Predischarge Postpartum Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection and Group B Streptococcus Carriage at the Individual and Hospital Levels 
Background. We sought to characterize the relationship between individual group B streptococcus (GBS) colonization and pre-discharge postpartum methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in United States women delivering at term. We also sought to examine the association between hospital GBS colonization prevalence and MRSA infection. Materials and Methods. Data was from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a representative sample of United States community hospitals. Hierarchical regression models were used to estimate odds ratios adjusted for patient age, race, expected payer, and prepregnancy diabetes and hospital teaching status, urbanicity, ownership, size, and geographic region. We used multiple imputation for missing covariate data. Results. There were 3,136,595 deliveries and 462 cases of MRSA infection included in this study. The odds ratio for individual GBS colonization was 1.2 (95% confidence interval: 0.9 to 1.5). For a five-percent increase in the hospital prevalence of GBS colonization, the odds ratio was 0.9 (95% CI: 0.1 to 5.6). Conclusions. The odds ratio estimate for the association of hospital GBS prevalence with MRSA infection is too imprecise to make conclusions about its magnitude and direction. Barring major bias in our estimates, individual GBS carriage does not appear to be strongly associated with predischarge postpartum MRSA infection.
PMCID: PMC3963373  PMID: 24729672
10.  Postnatal Cytomegalovirus Exposure in Infants of Antiretroviral-Treated and Untreated HIV-Infected Mothers 
HIV-1 and CMV are important pathogens transmitted via breastfeeding. Furthermore, perinatal CMV transmission may impact growth and disease progression in HIV-exposed infants. Although maternal antiretroviral therapy reduces milk HIV-1 RNA load and postnatal transmission, its impact on milk CMV load is unclear. We examined the relationship between milk CMV and HIV-1 load (4–6 weeks postpartum) and the impact of antiretroviral treatment in 69 HIV-infected, lactating Malawian women and assessed the relationship between milk CMV load and postnatal growth in HIV-exposed, breastfed infants through six months of age. Despite an association between milk HIV-1 RNA and CMV DNA load (0.39 log10 rise CMV load per log10 rise HIV-1 RNA load, 95% CI 0.13–0.66), milk CMV load was similar in antiretroviral-treated and untreated women. Higher milk CMV load was associated with lower length-for-age (−0.53, 95% CI: −0.96, −0.10) and weight-for-age (−0.40, 95% CI: −0.67, −0.13) Z-score at six months in exposed, uninfected infants. As the impact of maternal antiretroviral therapy on the magnitude of postnatal CMV exposure may be limited, our findings of an inverse relationship between infant growth and milk CMV load highlight the importance of defining the role of perinatal CMV exposure on growth faltering of HIV-exposed infants.
PMCID: PMC3958696  PMID: 24723745
11.  High Rate of Chronic Villitis in Placentas of Pregnancies Complicated by Influenza A/H1N1 Infection 
Introduction. Pandemic influenza A/H1N1 infection during pregnancy has a negative impact on several aspects of pregnancy outcome. As yet, no elucidating mechanism has been revealed for these effects. We investigated whether placentas of pregnancies complicated by 2009 influenza A/H1N1 infection demonstrated an increased rate of chronic villitis and whether this villitis was caused by influenza virus. Methods. We performed a cohort study on 145 pregnant outpatients during the 2009-2010 influenza A H1N1 pandemic. The placentas of patients with influenza infection were examined for histologic signs of chronic villitis. In case of villitis, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on influenza virus was performed on placental tissue. Results. 29 patients had influenza infection. Placentas of 15 of these patients were collected and examined. In 7 cases (47%) chronic villitis was detected. Placental weight and birth weight of the neonates did not differ between cases with and without chronic villitis. In all cases PCR was negative for influenza. Conclusion. In our series, chronic villitis was present in a high proportion of placentas of pregnancies complicated by 2009 influenza A/H1N1 infection. We could not demonstrate the presence of influenza virus in placental tissue.
PMCID: PMC3947755  PMID: 24693211
12.  Performance of BVBlue Rapid Test in Detecting Bacterial Vaginosis among Women in Mysore, India 
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge in reproductive age women. It is associated with increased susceptibility to HIV/STI and adverse birth outcomes. Diagnosis of BV in resource-poor settings like India is challenging. With little laboratory infrastructure there is a need for objective point-of-care diagnostic tests. Vaginal swabs were collected from women 18 years and older, with a vaginal pH > 4.5 attending a reproductive health clinic. BV was diagnosed with Amsel's criteria, Nugent scores, and the OSOM BVBlue test. Study personnel were blinded to test results. There were 347 participants enrolled between August 2009 and January 2010. BV prevalence was 45.1% (95% confidence interval (CI): 41.5%–52.8%) according to Nugent score. When compared with Nugent score, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value for Amsel's criteria and BVBlue were 61.9%, 88.3%, 81.5%, 73.7% and 38.1%, 92.7%, 82.1%, 63.9%, respectively. Combined with a “whiff” test, the performance of BVBlue increased sensitivity to 64.4% and negative predictive value to 73.8%. Despite the good specificity, poor sensitivity limits the usefulness of the BVBlue as a screening test in this population. There is a need to examine the usefulness of this test in other Indian populations.
PMCID: PMC3913452  PMID: 24526829
13.  Silencing Sexually Transmitted Infections: Topical siRNA-Based Interventions for the Prevention of HIV and HSV 
The global impact of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is significant. The sexual transmission of viruses such as herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2) and the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1), has been especially difficult to control. To date, no effective vaccines have been developed to prevent the transmission of these STIs. Although antiretroviral drugs have been remarkably successful in treating the symptoms associated with these viral infections, the feasibility of their widespread use for prevention purposes may be more limited. Microbicides might provide an attractive alternative option to reduce their spread. In particular, topically applied small inhibitory RNAs (siRNAs) have been shown to not only block transmission of viral STIs to mucosal tissues both in vitro and in vivo, but also confer durable knockdown of target gene expression, thereby circumventing the need to apply a microbicide around the time of sexual encounter, when compliance is mostly difficult. Despite numerous clinical trials currently testing the efficacy of siRNA-based therapeutics, they have yet to be approved for use in the treatment of viral STIs. While several obstacles to their successful implementation in the clinic still exist, promising preclinical studies suggest that siRNAs are a viable modality for the future prevention and treatment of HSV and HIV.
PMCID: PMC3913465  PMID: 24526828
14.  Effect of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) and Menopause on Risk of Progression of Cervical Dysplasia in Human Immune-Deficiency Virus- (HIV-) Infected Women 
Background. More HIV-infected women are reaching older age and menopause, but there is limited information on cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs) on these women. Methods. To assess the effect of HAART and menopause on SILs in HIV-infected women, we reviewed the results of Papanicolaou (Pap) tests obtained between 1991 and 2011 on 245 women. Progression to SILs was determined by comparing Pap test results. The association of HAART and transition to menopause on SILs was assessed using survival analysis. Results. Women receiving HAART had a 52% reduced risk in the progression to SILs compared to women receiving any other antiretroviral regimen or no regimen (CI: 0.33–0.70, P = 0.0001). A greater increase of CD4+ cell counts was associated with a greater reduction on the risk of progression to SILs. Menopausal women had a 70% higher risk of progression to SILs than premenopausal women (CI: 1.11–2.62, P < 0.0001), adjusting for HIV medications, CD4+ count, duration of HIV infection, moderation effect of menopause by age, prior IV drug use, and smoking. Conclusion. HAART had a positive long-term effect on the progression to SILs. However, being younger and menopausal increases the risk of progression.
PMCID: PMC3878554  PMID: 24453469
15.  Clinical Characteristics of Turkish Women with Candida krusei Vaginitis and Antifungal Susceptibility of the C. krusei Isolates  
Objective. Candida krusei causes approximately 1% of vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) cases and is naturally resistant to fluconazole. Antifungal testing may be required if C. krusei vaginitis fails to respond to non-fluconazole therapy, particularly in patients with recurrent infections. Design. We investigated the clinical characteristics and antifungal susceptibility profile of vaginal C. krusei isolates. Between 2009 and 2012, we identified 560 unrelated Candida spp.-positive vaginal cultures, of which 28 (5.0%) were C. krusei. These isolates were analyzed according to host factors and the clinical forms of VVC, and their in vitro susceptibility to 10 antifungal agents was tested using a reference microdilution method. Results. We observed that perineal laceration and increased age (>50 years) were significant predictors of C. krusei in vaginal samples (P < 0.05). All isolates were susceptible to amphotericin B, caspofungin, ketoconazole, and miconazole. Additionally, susceptible dose-dependent and resistant rates were found for fluconazole as 42.9% and 57.1%, respectively. Remarkably, only 42.9% and 67.9% of the isolates were susceptible to itraconazole and voriconazole, respectively. Conclusions. Understanding local susceptibility patterns, especially those of non-C. albicans Candida species, can significantly aid in the selection of an effective antifungal agent. The in vivo response of C. krusei vaginitis to various antifungal therapeutics remains unknown and requires further research.
PMCID: PMC3874352  PMID: 24396265
16.  Benzoyl Peroxide Formulated Polycarbophil/Carbopol 934P Hydrogel with Selective Antimicrobial Activity, Potentially Beneficial for Treatment and Prevention of Bacterial Vaginosis 
The human vagina is colonized by a variety of indigenous microflora; in healthy individuals the predominant bacterial genus is Lactobacillus while those with bacterial vaginosis (BV) carry a variety of anaerobic representatives of the phylum Actinobacteria. In this study, we evaluated the antimicrobial activity of benzoyl peroxide (BPO) encapsulated in a hydrogel against Gardnerella vaginalis, one of the causative agents of BV, as well as indicating its safety for healthy human lactobacilli. Herein, it is shown that in well diffusion assays G. vaginalis is inhibited at 0.01% hydrogel-encapsulated BPO and that the tested Lactobacillus spp. can tolerate concentrations of BPO up to 2.5%. In direct contact assays (cells grown in a liquid culture containing hydrogel with 1% BPO or BPO particles), we demonstrated that hydrogels loaded with 1% BPO caused 6-log reduction of G. vaginalis. Conversely, three of the tested Lactobacillus spp. were not inhibited while L. acidophilus growth was slightly delayed. The rheological properties of the hydrogel formulation were probed using oscillation frequency sweep, oscillation shear stress sweep, and shear rate sweep. This shows the gel to be suitable for vaginal application and that the encapsulation of BPO did not alter rheological properties.
PMCID: PMC3870611  PMID: 24382940
17.  The Effect of Cotrimoxazole Prophylactic Treatment on Malaria, Birth Outcomes, and Postpartum CD4 Count in HIV-Infected Women 
Background. Limited data exist on cotrimoxazole prophylactic treatment (CPT) in pregnant women, including protection against malaria versus standard intermittent preventive therapy with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp). Methods. Using observational data we examined the effect of CPT in HIV-infected pregnant women on malaria during pregnancy, low birth weight and preterm birth using proportional hazards, logistic, and log binomial regression, respectively. We used linear regression to assess effect of CPT on CD4 count. Results. Data from 468 CPT-exposed and 768 CPT-unexposed women were analyzed. CPT was associated with protection against malaria versus IPTp (hazard ratio: 0.35, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.20, 0.60). After adjustment for time period this effect was not statistically significant (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.28, 1.52). Among women receiving and not receiving CPT, rates of low birth weight (7.1% versus 7.6%) and preterm birth (23.5% versus 23.6%) were similar. CPT was associated with lower CD4 counts 24 weeks postpartum in women receiving (−77.6 cells/μL, 95% CI: −125.2, −30.1) and not receiving antiretrovirals (−33.7 cells/μL, 95% CI: −58.6, −8.8). Conclusions. Compared to IPTp, CPT provided comparable protection against malaria in HIV-infected pregnant women and against preterm birth or low birth weight. Possible implications of CPT-associated lower CD4 postpartum warrant further examination.
PMCID: PMC3865641  PMID: 24363547
18.  Chlamydia trachomatis Infection in HIV-Infected Women: Need for Screening by a Sensitive and Specific Test 
Reproductive tract infection (RTIs)/sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are recognized as a major public health problem, particularly due to their relationship with HIV infection. Early detection and treatment of Chlamydia trachomatis infection (CTI) among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women may impact heterosexual HIV transmission. A total of 120 participants were enrolled: 30 HIV seropositive women with symptoms of RTIs, 30 HIV seropositive women without symptoms of RTIs, 30 HIV seronegative women with symptoms of RTIs, and 30 HIV seronegative women without symptoms of RTIs. One endocervical swab was collected from all participants and CTI was detected by real-time PCR (COBAS TaqMan CT Test, v2.0). CTI was detected in 4 (6.67%) HIV-infected women and in 1 (1.67%) HIV-uninfected woman (OR 4.214; 95% CI 0.457–38.865). Vaginal discharge was present in almost half of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women; lower abdominal pain was present in 11 (18.3%) of HIV-infected and in 9 (15%) of HIV-uninfected women. This study showed that CTI is more prevalent among HIV-infected females as compared to HIV-uninfected females. As the use of real-time PCR is not feasible in most hospitals, efforts should be made to develop a simple, sensitive, and specific test to identify women with CTI for prevention of sequelae and HIV transmission.
PMCID: PMC3870114  PMID: 24382941
19.  The Effects of Anemia on Pregnancy Outcome in Patients with Pyelonephritis 
Objective. Pyelonephritis is a common infectious morbidity of pregnancy. Though anemia is commonly associated with pyelonephritis, there are little data describing the effect of pyelonephritis with anemia on pregnancy outcomes. The purpose of this study was to further assess the association of anemia with infectious morbidity and pregnancy complications among women with pyelonephritis. Study Design. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of pregnant women admitted to Duke University Hospital between July 2006 and May 2012 with pyelonephritis. Demographic, laboratory, and clinical data from the subject's pregnancy and hospitalizations were analyzed. Patients with pyelonephritis and anemia (a hematocrit < 32) were compared to those without anemia. Descriptive statistics were used to compare the two groups. Results. 114 pregnant women were admitted with pyelonephritis and 45 (39.5%) had anemia on admission. There was no significant difference in age, race, preexisting medical conditions, or urine bacterial species between patients with anemia and those without. Women with anemia were more likely to deliver preterm (OR 3.3 (95% CI 1.07, 11.4), P = 0.04). When controlling for race and history of preterm delivery, women with anemia continued to have increased odds of preterm birth (OR 6.0, CI 1.4, 35, P = 0.012). Conclusion. Women with pyelonephritis and anemia are at increased risk for preterm delivery.
PMCID: PMC3863467  PMID: 24369448
20.  Medical and Infectious Complications Associated with Pyelonephritis among Pregnant Women at Delivery 
Objective. Pyelonephritis is a common cause of antepartum admission and maternal morbidity. Medical complications associated with pyelonephritis during delivery are not well described; thus the objective of this study was to estimate medical, infectious, and obstetric complications associated with pyelonephritis during the delivery admission. Study Design. We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) for the years 2008–2010. The NIS was queried for all delivery-related discharges. During the delivery admission, the ICD-9-CM codes for pyelonephritis were used to identify cases and were compared to women without pyelonephritis. A multivariable logistic regression model was constructed for various medical, infectious, and obstetric complications among women with pyelonephritis compared to women without, while controlling for preexisting medical conditions and demographics. Results. During the years 2008–2010, there were 26,397 records with a diagnosis of pyelonephritis during the delivery admission, for a rate of 2.1 per 1000 deliveries. Women with pyelonephritis had increased associated risks for transfusion, need for mechanical ventilation, acute heart failure, pneumonia, pulmonary edema, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, acute renal failure, preterm labor, and chorioamnionitis, while controlling for preexisting medical conditions. Conclusions. Pyelonephritis at delivery admissions is associated with significant medical and infectious morbidity.
PMCID: PMC3804393  PMID: 24194632
21.  Prenatal Ultrasound Screening for Fetal Anomalies and Outcomes in High-Risk Pregnancies due to Maternal HIV Infection: A Retrospective Study 
Objective. To assess the prevalence of prenatal screening and of adverse outcome in high-risk pregnancies due to maternal HIV infection. Study Design. The prevalence of prenatal screening in 330 pregnancies of HIV-positive women attending the department for prenatal screening and/or during labour between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2012, was recorded. Screening results were compared with the postnatal outcome and maternal morbidity, and mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) was evaluated. Results. One hundred of 330 women (30.5%) had an early anomaly scan, 252 (74.5%) had a detailed scan at 20–22 weeks, 18 (5.5%) had a detailed scan prior to birth, and three (0.9%) had an amniocentesis. In seven cases (2.12%), a fetal anomaly was detected prenatally and confirmed postnatally, while in eight (2.42%) an anomaly was only detected postnatally, even though a prenatal scan was performed. There were no anomalies in the unscreened group. MTCT occurred in three cases (0.9%) and seven fetal and neonatal deaths (2.1%) were reported. Conclusion. The overall prevalence of prenatal ultrasound screening in our cohort is 74.5%, but often the opportunity for prenatal ultrasonography in the first trimester is missed. In general, the aim should be to offer prenatal ultrasonography in the first trimester in all pregnancies. This allows early reassurance or if fetal disease is suspected, further steps can be taken.
PMCID: PMC3803124  PMID: 24194633
22.  Inflammation on the Cervical Papanicolaou Smear: Evidence for Infection in Asymptomatic Women? 
Background. The significance of the possible presence of infection on the Pap smear of asymptomatic women based on cytological criteria is practically unknown. Materials and Methods. A total of 1117 asymptomatic nonpregnant women had Pap smear tests and vaginal as well as cervical cultures completed (622 with and 495 without inflammation on the Pap smear). Results. Out of the 622 women with inflammation on Pap test, 251 (40.4%) had negative cultures (normal flora present), while 371 (59.6%) women had positive cultures with different pathogens. In contrast, the group of women without inflammation on Pap test displayed significantly increased percentage of negative cultures (67.1%, P < 0.001) and decreased percentage of positive cultures (32.9%, P < 0.001). Bacterial vaginosis was diagnosed more frequently in both groups and significantly more in the group with inflammation on Pap smear compared to the group without inflammation (P < 0.02). Conclusions. A report of inflammatory changes on the cervical Pap smear cannot be used to reliably predict the presence of a genital tract infection, especially in asymptomatic women. Nevertheless, the isolation of different pathogens in about 60% of the women with inflammation on the Pap smear cannot be overlooked and must be regarded with concern.
PMCID: PMC3800589  PMID: 24204103
23.  Comparison of Pregnancies between Perinatally and Sexually HIV-Infected Women: An Observational Study at an Urban Hospital 
As perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV) women reach reproductive age, there is an increasing number who become pregnant. This is a retrospective cohort study of HIV-infected women who delivered from June 2007 to July 2012 at our institution. Maternal demographics, HIV characteristics, and obstetric and neonatal outcomes were compared. 20 PHIV and 80 SHIV pregnancies were reviewed. The groups had similar CD4+ counts, prevalence of AIDS, and use of antiretrovirals (ARV) at initiation of obstetrical care. PHIV women were significantly more likely to be younger, have a detectable viral load (35% versus 74%, P < 0.01), and have HIV-genotype resistance (40% versus 12%, P < 0.01) than the SHIV women. The median gestational age at delivery (38 weeks) and rates of obstetrical and neonatal complications were similar between the groups. While the overall rate of cesarean delivery (CD) was similar, the rates for CD due to HIV were higher in the PHIV group (64% versus 22%, P < 0.01). There was one case (5.3%) of mother-to-child transmission in the PHIV group versus two cases (2.6%) in the SHIV group. In our population, PHIV pregnant women have a higher rate of HIV-genotype resistance and higher rate of detectable viral load leading to a higher rate of CD secondary to HIV.
PMCID: PMC3782836  PMID: 24106419
24.  Reporting Vaccine Complications: What Do Obstetricians and Gynecologists Know About the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System? 
Background. Obstetrician-gynecologists are increasingly called upon to be vaccinators as an essential part of a woman's primary and preventive health care. Despite the established safety of vaccines, vaccine adverse events may occur. A national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a well-established mechanism to track adverse events. However, we hypothesized that many obstetrician-gynecologists are naive to the role and use of VAERS. Methods. We devised a ten-question survey to a sample of ACOG fellows to assess their knowledge and understanding of VAERS. We performed descriptive and frequency analysis for each of the questions and used one-way analysis of variance for continuous and chi-squared for categorical variables. Results. Of the 1000 fellows who received the survey, 377 responded. Only one respondent answered all nine knowledge questions correctly, and 9.2% of physicians had used VAERS. Older physicians were less familiar with VAERS in general and with the specific objectives of VAERS in particular (χ2 = 10.7, P = .005). Conclusions. Obstetrician-gynecologist familiarity with VAERS is lacking. Only when the obstetrician-gynecologist is completely knowledgeable regarding standard vaccine practices, including the availability and use of programs such as VAERS, will providers be functioning as competent and complete vaccinators.
PMCID: PMC3781918  PMID: 24089592
25.  HPV Infection: Immunological Aspects and Their Utility in Future Therapy 
High prevalence and mortality rates of cervical cancer create an imperative need to clarify the uniqueness of HPV (Human Papillomavirus) infection, which serves as the key causative factor in cervical malignancies. Understanding the immunological details and the microenvironment of the infection can be a useful tool for the development of novel therapeutic interventions. Chronic infection and progression to carcinogenesis are sustained by immortalization potential of HPV, evasion techniques, and alterations in the microenvironment of the lesion. Inside the lesion, Toll-like receptors expression becomes irregular; Langerhans cells fail to present the antigens efficiently, tumor-associated macrophages aggregate resulting in an unsuccessful immune response by the host. HPV products also downregulate the expression of microenvironment components which are necessary for natural-killer cells response and antigen presentation to cytotoxic cells. Additionally HPV promotes T-helper cell 2 (Th2) and T-regulatory cell phenotypes and reduces Th1 phenotype, leading to suppression of cellular immunity and lesion progression to cancer. Humoral response after natural infection is inefficient, and neutralizing antibodies are not adequate in many women. Utilizing this knowledge, new endeavors, such as therapeutic vaccination, aim to stimulate cellular immune response against the virus and alter the milieu of the lesion.
PMCID: PMC3762170  PMID: 24023507

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