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1.  Linear growth trajectories in Zimbabwean infants12 
Background: Undernutrition in early life underlies 45% of child deaths globally. Stunting malnutrition (suboptimal linear growth) also has long-term negative effects on childhood development. Linear growth deficits accrue in the first 1000 d of life. Understanding the patterns and timing of linear growth faltering or recovery during this period is critical to inform interventions to improve infant nutritional status.
Objective: We aimed to identify the pattern and determinants of linear growth trajectories from birth through 24 mo of age in a cohort of Zimbabwean infants.
Design: We performed a secondary analysis of longitudinal data from a subset of 3338 HIV-unexposed infants in the Zimbabwe Vitamin A for Mothers and Babies trial. We used k-means clustering for longitudinal data to identify linear growth trajectories and multinomial logistic regression to identify covariates that were associated with each trajectory group.
Results: For the entire population, the mean length-for-age z score declined from −0.6 to −1.4 between birth and 24 mo of age. Within the population, 4 growth patterns were identified that were each characterized by worsening linear growth restriction but varied in the timing and severity of growth declines. In our multivariable model, 1-U increments in maternal height and education and infant birth weight and length were associated with greater relative odds of membership in the least–growth restricted groups (A and B) and reduced odds of membership in the more–growth restricted groups (C and D). Male infant sex was associated with reduced odds of membership in groups A and B but with increased odds of membership in groups C and D.
Conclusion: In this population, all children were experiencing growth restriction but differences in magnitude were influenced by maternal height and education and infant sex, birth weight, and birth length, which suggest that key determinants of linear growth may already be established by the time of birth. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00198718.
doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.133538
PMCID: PMC5118730  PMID: 27806980
children; infants; longitudinal; malnutrition; prenatal; stunting
2.  Stunting Mediates the Association between Small-for-Gestational-Age and Postneonatal Mortality123 
The Journal of Nutrition  2016;146(11):2383-2387.
Background: In sub-Saharan Africa, one-third of all births are small for gestational age (SGA), and 4.4 million children are stunted; both conditions increase the risk of child mortality. SGA has also been shown to increase the risk of stunting.
Objective: We tested whether the association between SGA and postneonatal mortality is mediated by stunting.
Methods: We used longitudinal data from children aged 6 wk to 24 mo (n = 12,155) enrolled in the ZVITAMBO (Zimbabwe Vitamin A for Mothers and Babies) trial. HIV exposure was defined based on maternal HIV status at baseline. SGA was defined as birthweight <10th percentile of the INTERGROWTH-21st (International Fetal and Newborn Growth Consortium for the 21st Century) standards. We used a standard mediation approach by comparing the attenuation of the risk when the mediator was added to the model. We used Cox proportional hazards models first to regress SGA on postneonatal mortality, controlling for age. Stunting (length-for-age z score <−2) was then included in the model to test mediation.
Results: Approximately 20% of children were term SGA, and 23% were stunted before their last follow-up visit. In this cohort, 31% of children were exposed to HIV; the HIV-exposed group represented a pooled group of HIV-infected and HIV-exposed but uninfected children. Postneonatal mortality was significantly higher among children born SGA (HR: 1.5; 95% CI: 1.3, 1.7). This association was attenuated and not statistically significant when stunting was included in the model, suggesting a mediation effect (HR: 1.1; 95% CI: 0.91, 1.3). When stratified by HIV exposure status, we observed a significant attenuation of the risk, suggesting mediation, only among HIV-exposed children (model 1, HR: 1.3; 95% CI: 1.1, 1.6; model 2, HR: 1.1; 95% CI: 0.88, 1.3).
Conclusions: This analysis aids in investigating pathways that underlie an observed SGA-mortality relation and may inform survival interventions in undernourished settings.
doi:10.3945/jn.116.235457
PMCID: PMC5086790  PMID: 27733526
small for gestational age; postneonatal mortality; stunting; mediation; HIV
3.  Head circumferences of children born to HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected mothers in Zimbabwe during the preantiretroviral therapy era 
AIDS (London, England)  2016;30(15):2323-2328.
Objectives:
To describe the head growth of children according to maternal and child HIV infection status.
Design:
Longitudinal analysis of head circumference data from 13 647 children followed from birth in the ZVITAMBO trial, undertaken in Harare, Zimbabwe, between 1997 and 2001, prior to availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) or cotrimoxazole prophylaxis.
Methods:
Head circumference was measured at birth, then at regular intervals through 24 months of age. Mean head circumference-for-age Z-scores (HCZ) and prevalence of microcephaly (HCZ < −2) were compared between HIV-unexposed children, HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) children and children infected with HIV in utero (IU), intrapartum (IP) and postnatally (PN).
Results:
Children infected with HIV in utero had head growth restriction at birth. Head circumference Z-scores remained low throughout follow-up in IP children, whereas they progressively declined in IU children. During the second year of life, HCZ in the PN group declined, reaching a similar mean as IP-infected children by 21 months of age. Microcephaly was more common among IU and IP children than HIV-uninfected children through 24 months. HEU children had significantly lower head circumferences than HIV-unexposed children through 12 months.
Conclusion:
HIV-infected children had lower head circumferences and more microcephaly than HIV-uninfected children. Timing of HIV acquisition; influenced HCZ, with those infected before birth having particularly poor head growth. HEU children had poorer head growth until 12 months of age. Correlations between head growth and neurodevelopment in the context of maternal/infant HIV infection, and further studies from the current ART era, will help determine the predictive value of routine head circumference measurement.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0000000000001196
PMCID: PMC5017265  PMID: 27428746
Africa; children; head circumference; HIV; microcephaly
4.  Acute Illness Is Associated with Suppression of the Growth Hormone Axis in Zimbabwean Infants 
Frequent infections contribute to childhood stunting in developing countries but the causal pathways are uncertain. We tested the hypothesis that intercurrent illnesses suppress the growth hormone axis through reductions in insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). In a birth cohort of 202 HIV-unexposed Zimbabwean infants, we analyzed data on 7-day illness recall and measured plasma interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, alpha-1-acid glycoprotein, and IGF-1 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, at age 6 weeks, and then 3, 6, 12, and 18 months. Children with recent acute illness had lower IGF-1 concentrations than healthy children and IGF-1 correlated inversely (P < 0.05) with inflammatory biomarkers at most time points between 3 and 18 months. Using path analysis, we showed that cough and fever had a predominantly indirect effect on suppressing IGF-1, through the acute-phase response, whereas diarrhea had a predominantly direct effect on IGF-1. Acute illness may therefore impact the growth hormone axis through both direct and indirect pathways.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.14-0448
PMCID: PMC4347356  PMID: 25535308
5.  HIV-Exposed Uninfected Infants in Zimbabwe: Insights into Health Outcomes in the Pre-Antiretroviral Therapy Era 
The ZVITAMBO trial recruited 14,110 mother–infant pairs to a randomized controlled trial of vitamin A between 1997 and 2000, before the availability of antiretroviral therapy for HIV prophylaxis or treatment in Zimbabwe. The HIV status of mothers and infants was well characterized through 1–2 years of follow-up, leading to the largest cohort to date of HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) infants (n = 3135), with a suitable comparison group of HIV-unexposed infants (n = 9510). Here, we draw on 10 years of published findings from the ZVITAMBO trial. HEU infants had increased morbidity compared to HIV-unexposed infants, with 50% more hospitalizations in the neonatal period and 30% more sick clinic visits during infancy, particularly for skin infections, lower respiratory tract infections, and oral thrush. HEU children had 3.9-fold and 2.0-fold higher mortality than HIV-unexposed children during the first and second years of life, respectively, most commonly due to acute respiratory infections, diarrhea/dysentery, malnutrition, sepsis, and meningitis. Infant morbidity and mortality were strongly related to maternal HIV disease severity, and increased morbidity remained until maternal CD4 counts were >800 cells/μL. HEU infants were more likely to be premature and small-for-gestational age than HIV-unexposed infants, and had more postnatal growth failure. Here, we propose a conceptual framework to explain the increased risk of infectious morbidity, mortality, and growth failure among HEU infants, hypothesizing that immune activation and inflammation are key drivers of both infection susceptibility and growth failure. Future studies should further dissect the causes of infection susceptibility and growth failure and determine the impact of ART and cotrimoxazole on outcomes of this vulnerable group of infants in the current era.
doi:10.3389/fimmu.2016.00190
PMCID: PMC4893498  PMID: 27375613
HIV exposure; infant; Zimbabwe; Africa; inflammation; immune activation; breast-feeding
6.  Theory-Driven Process Evaluation of the SHINE Trial Using a Program Impact Pathway Approach 
Two reasons for the lack of success of programs or interventions are poor alignment of interventions with the causes of the problem targeted by the intervention, leading to poor efficacy (theory failure), and failure to implement interventions as designed (program failure). These failures are important for both public health programs and randomized trials. In the Sanitation Hygiene and Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) Trial, we utilize the program impact pathway (PIP) approach to track intervention implementation and behavior uptake. In this article, we present the SHINE PIP including definitions and measurements of key mediating domains, and discuss the implications of this approach for randomized trials. Operationally, the PIP can be used for monitoring and strengthening intervention delivery, facilitating course-correction at various stages of implementation. Analytically, the PIP can facilitate a richer understanding of the mediating and modifying determinants of intervention impact than would be possible from an intention-to-treat analysis alone.
doi:10.1093/cid/civ716
PMCID: PMC4657588  PMID: 26602304
process evaluation; program impact pathway; intention to treat; per protocol
7.  Design of an Intervention to Minimize Ingestion of Fecal Microbes by Young Children in Rural Zimbabwe 
We sought to develop a water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) intervention to minimize fecal–oral transmission among children aged 0–18 months in the Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) trial. We undertook 4 phases of formative research, comprising in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, behavior trials, and a combination of observations and microbiological sampling methods. The resulting WASH intervention comprises material inputs and behavior change communication to promote stool disposal, handwashing with soap, water treatment, protected exploratory play, and hygienic infant feeding. Nurture and disgust were found to be key motivators, and are used as emotional triggers. The concept of a safe play space for young children was particularly novel, and families were eager to implement this after learning about the risks of unprotected exploratory play. An iterative process of formative research was essential to create a sequenced and integrated longitudinal intervention for a SHINE household as it expects (during pregnancy) and then cares for a new child.
doi:10.1093/cid/civ845
PMCID: PMC4657590  PMID: 26602297
water, sanitation and hygiene; intervention design research; formative research; stunting; environmental enteric dysfunction
8.  Using Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis Methods to Assess Household Water Access and Sanitation Coverage in the SHINE Trial 
Access to water and sanitation are important determinants of behavioral responses to hygiene and sanitation interventions. We estimated cluster-specific water access and sanitation coverage to inform a constrained randomization technique in the SHINE trial. Technicians and engineers inspected all public access water sources to ascertain seasonality, function, and geospatial coordinates. Households and water sources were mapped using open-source geospatial software. The distance from each household to the nearest perennial, functional, protected water source was calculated, and for each cluster, the median distance and the proportion of households within <500 m and >1500 m of such a water source. Cluster-specific sanitation coverage was ascertained using a random sample of 13 households per cluster. These parameters were included as covariates in randomization to optimize balance in water and sanitation access across treatment arms at the start of the trial. The observed high variability between clusters in both parameters suggests that constraining on these factors was needed to reduce risk of bias.
doi:10.1093/cid/civ847
PMCID: PMC4657592  PMID: 26602299
spatial analysis; water access; water coverage; geographic information systems; georeferenced dataset
9.  Congenital and Postnatal CMV and EBV Acquisition in HIV-Infected Zimbabwean Infants 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114870.
Background
HIV-infected infants in sub-Saharan Africa have rapid disease progression. We hypothesized that co-infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV) or Epstein Barr virus (EBV) increases mortality in HIV-infected infants.
Methods
257 antiretroviral therapy-naïve HIV-infected Zimbabwean infants were tested for CMV and EBV at 6 weeks of age by real-time PCR; if positive, birth samples were retrieved where available to distinguish congenital and postnatal infection. The impact of co-infection on mortality through 6 months was estimated using Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards methods.
Results
At 6 weeks, 203/257 (79%) HIV-infected infants were CMV-positive; 27 (11%) had congenital CMV, 108 (42%) postnatal CMV and 68 (26%) indeterminate timing of infection. By 6 months, 37/108 (34%) infants with postnatal CMV versus 16/54 (30%) CMV-negative infants died (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 1.1 [95%CI 0.6, 2.2]). At 6 weeks, 33/257 (13%) HIV-infected infants had EBV co-infection; 6 (2%) had congenital EBV, 18 (7%) postnatal EBV and 9 (4%) indeterminate timing of infection. By 6 months, 5/18 (28%) infants with postnatal EBV versus 72/224 (32%) EBV-negative infants died (aHR 0.8 [95%CI 0.3, 2.3]).
Conclusions
The vast majority of HIV-infants had acquired CMV by 6 weeks, and EBV co-infection occurred earlier than expected, with one in eight HIV-infected infants positive for EBV by 6 weeks. There was a high prevalence of congenital CMV infection and we identified 6 infants with congenital EBV infection, which has not previously been reported in Africa or in the context of HIV infection. Neither CMV nor EBV co-infection was associated with increased mortality.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0114870
PMCID: PMC4270791  PMID: 25522217
10.  Stunting Is Characterized by Chronic Inflammation in Zimbabwean Infants 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e86928.
Background
Stunting affects one-third of children in developing countries, but the causes remain unclear. We hypothesized that enteropathy leads to low-grade inflammation, which suppresses the growth hormone-IGF axis and mediates stunting.
Methods
We conducted a case-control study of 202 HIV-unexposed Zimbabwean infants who were stunted (height-for-age Z-score (HAZ) <−2; cases) or non-stunted (HAZ >−0.5; controls) at 18 months. We measured biomarkers of intestinal damage (I-FABP), inflammation (CRP, AGP, IL-6) and growth hormone-IGF axis (IGF-1, IGFBP3) in infant plasma at 6 weeks and 3, 6, 12 and 18 months, and in paired maternal-infant plasma at birth. Adjusted mean differences between biomarkers were estimated using regression models. Multivariate odds ratios of stunting were estimated by logistic regression.
Results
At birth, cases were shorter (median (IQR) HAZ −1.00 (−1.53, −0.08) vs 0.03 (−0.57, 0.62,); P<0.001) than controls and their mothers had lower levels of IGF-1 (adjusted mean difference (95%CI) −21.4 (−39.8, −3.1) ng/mL). From 6 weeks to 12 months of age, levels of CRP and AGP were consistently higher and IGF-1 and IGFBP3 lower in cases versus controls; IGF-1 correlated inversely with inflammatory markers at all time-points. I-FABP increased between 3–12 months, indicating extensive intestinal damage during infancy, which was similar in cases and controls. In multivariate analysis, higher log10 levels of CRP (aOR 3.06 (95%CI 1.34, 6.99); P = 0.008) and AGP (aOR 7.87 (95%CI 0.74, 83.74); P = 0.087) during infancy were associated with stunting. There were no associations between levels of I-FABP, IL-6, sCD14 or EndoCAb and stunting.
Conclusions
Stunting began in utero and was associated with low maternal IGF-1 levels at birth. Inflammatory markers were higher in cases than controls from 6 weeks of age and were associated with lower levels of IGF-1 throughout infancy. Higher levels of CRP and AGP during infancy were associated with stunting. These findings suggest that an extensive enteropathy occurs during infancy and that low-grade chronic inflammation may impair infant growth.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086928
PMCID: PMC3928146  PMID: 24558364
11.  The associations of parity and maternal age with small-for-gestational-age, preterm, and neonatal and infant mortality: a meta-analysis 
BMC Public Health  2013;13(Suppl 3):S2.
Background
Previous studies have reported on adverse neonatal outcomes associated with parity and maternal age. Many of these studies have relied on cross-sectional data, from which drawing causal inference is complex. We explore the associations between parity/maternal age and adverse neonatal outcomes using data from cohort studies conducted in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).
Methods
Data from 14 cohort studies were included. Parity (nulliparous, parity 1-2, parity ≥3) and maternal age (<18 years, 18-<35 years, ≥35 years) categories were matched with each other to create exposure categories, with those who are parity 1-2 and age 18-<35 years as the reference. Outcomes included small-for-gestational-age (SGA), preterm, neonatal and infant mortality. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) were calculated per study and meta-analyzed.
Results
Nulliparous, age <18 year women, compared with women who were parity 1-2 and age 18-<35 years had the highest odds of SGA (pooled adjusted OR: 1.80), preterm (pooled aOR: 1.52), neonatal mortality (pooled aOR: 2.07), and infant mortality (pooled aOR: 1.49). Increased odds were also noted for SGA and neonatal mortality for nulliparous/age 18-<35 years, preterm, neonatal, and infant mortality for parity ≥3/age 18-<35 years, and preterm and neonatal mortality for parity ≥3/≥35 years.
Conclusions
Nulliparous women <18 years of age have the highest odds of adverse neonatal outcomes. Family planning has traditionally been the least successful in addressing young age as a risk factor; a renewed focus must be placed on finding effective interventions that delay age at first birth. Higher odds of adverse outcomes are also seen among parity ≥3 / age ≥35 mothers, suggesting that reproductive health interventions need to address the entirety of a woman’s reproductive period.
Funding
Funding was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (810-2054) by a grant to the US Fund for UNICEF to support the activities of the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-S3-S2
PMCID: PMC3847520  PMID: 24564800
12.  The associations of birth intervals with small-for-gestational-age, preterm, and neonatal and infant mortality: a meta-analysis 
BMC Public Health  2013;13(Suppl 3):S3.
Background
Short and long birth intervals have previously been linked to adverse neonatal outcomes. However, much of the existing literature uses cross-sectional studies, from which deriving causal inference is complex. We examine the association between short/long birth intervals and adverse neonatal outcomes by calculating and meta-analyzing associations using original data from cohort studies conducted in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC).
Methods
We identified five cohort studies. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) were calculated for each study, with birth interval as the exposure and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) and/or preterm birth, and neonatal and infant mortality as outcomes. The associations were controlled for potential confounders and meta-analyzed.
Results
Birth interval of shorter than 18 months had statistically significant increased odds of SGA (pooled aOR: 1.51, 95% CI: 1.31-1.75), preterm (pooled aOR: 1.58, 95% CI: 1.19-2.10) and infant mortality (pooled aOR: 1.83, 95% CI: 1.19-2.81) after controlling for potential confounding factors (reference 36-<60 months). It was also significantly associated with term-SGA, preterm-appropriate-for-gestational-age, and preterm-SGA. Birth interval over 60 months had increased risk of SGA (pooled aOR: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.07-1.39) and term-SGA (pooled aOR: 1.14, 95% CI: 1.03-1.27), but was not associated with other outcomes.
Conclusions
Birth intervals shorter than 18 months are significantly associated with SGA, preterm birth and death in the first year of life. Lack of access to family planning interventions thus contributes to the burden of adverse birth outcomes and infant mortality in LMICs. Programs and policies must assess ways to provide equitable access to reproductive health interventions to mothers before or soon after delivering a child, but also address underlying socioeconomic factors that may modify and worsen the effect of short intervals.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-S3-S3
PMCID: PMC3847557  PMID: 24564484
13.  Predictive Value of Weight Loss on Mortality of HIV-Positive Mothers in a Prolonged Breastfeeding Setting 
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses  2011;27(11):1141-1148.
Abstract
HIV-positive lactating women may be at high risk of weight loss due to increased caloric requirements and postpartum physiological weight loss. Ten percent weight loss is associated with a higher risk of mortality in HIV-positive patients and this alone is a criterion for highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) initiation where CD4 counts are not available. However, no study has investigated this association in lactating postpartum women. We investigated whether 10% weight loss predicts death in postpartum HIV-positive women. A total of 9207 HIV-negative and 4495 HIV-positive mothers were recruited at delivery. Women were weighed at 6 weeks, 3 months, and every 3 months thereafter for up to 24 months postpartum and data on mortality up to 2 years were collected. The median duration of breastfeeding was longer than 18 months. Among HIV-positive women, the independent predictors of ≥10% weight loss were CD4 cell count, body mass index, and household income. Mortality was up to 7.12 (95% CI 3.47–14.61) times higher in HIV-positive women with ≥10% weight loss than those without weight loss. Ten percent weight loss in postpartum lactating HIV-positive women was significantly predictive of death. Our findings suggest that 10% weight loss is an appropriate criterion for HAART initiation among postpartum breastfeeding women.
doi:10.1089/aid.2010.0293
PMCID: PMC3243462  PMID: 21226627
14.  In utero and intra-partum HIV-1 transmission and acute HIV-1 infection during pregnancy: using the BED capture enzyme-immunoassay as a surrogate marker for acute infection 
Objective The BED assay was developed to estimate the proportion of recent HIV infections in a population. We used the BED assay as a proxy for acute infection to quantify the associated risk of mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT) during pregnancy and delivery.
Design A total of 3773 HIV-1 sero-positive women were tested within 96 h of delivery using the BED assay, and CD4 cell count measurements were taken. Mothers were classified according to their likelihood of having recently seroconverted.
Methods The risk of MTCT in utero and intra-partum was assessed comparing different groups defined by BED and CD4 cell count, adjusting for background factors using multinomial logistic models.
Results Compared with women with BED ≥ 0.8/CD4 ≥ 350 (typical of HIV-1 chronic patients) there was insufficient evidence to conclude that women presenting with BED < 0.8/CD4 ≥ 350 (typical of recent infections) were more likely to transmit in utero [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.37, 96% confidence interval (CI) 0.90–2.08, P = 0.14], whereas women with BED < 0.8/CD4 200–349 (possibly recently infected patients) had a 2.57 (95% CI 1.39–4.77, P-value < 0.01) odds of transmitting in utero. Women who had BED < 0.8/CD4 < 200 were most likely to transmit in utero (aOR 3.73, 95% CI 1.27–10.96, P = 0.02). BED and CD4 cell count were not predictive of intra-partum infections.
Conclusions These data provide evidence that in utero transmission of HIV might be higher among women who seroconvert during pregnancy.
doi:10.1093/ije/dyr055
PMCID: PMC3156369  PMID: 21471020
BED; CD4; in utero; intra-partum; seroconversion; HIV
15.  Postpartum Plasma CD4 Change in HIV-Positive Women: Implications for Timing of HAART Initiation 
Abstract
CD4 counts increase during the postpartum period and may not correctly identify HAART-eligible HIV-positive women. HAART eligibility when defined by two CD4 cutoffs (<200 and <350 cells/μl) measured at two time points (within 96 h of delivery and 6 weeks) in postpartum HIV-positive women was compared. Among HIV-positive women who had CD4 at delivery and 6 weeks (n = 423), time to Stage 3 or 4 opportunistic infection or death was compared using Cox regression between three groups of women: (1) CD4 <200 cells/μl at delivery and 6 weeks, (2) CD4 <200 cells/μl at delivery but ≥200 cells/μl at 6 weeks, and (3) CD4 ≥200 cells/μl at delivery and at 6 weeks. The analysis was repeated using the CD4 <350 cells/μl cut-off. CD4 counts increased by a median (IQR) of 70 (1–178) cells/μl between delivery and 6 weeks and decreased thereafter to approximately delivery levels at 12 months. Only 60% and 61% who had CD4 <200 cells/μl and CD4 <350 cells/μl, respectively, at delivery also had those levels at 6 weeks. Among those with CD4 <350 cells/μl at both delivery and 6 weeks, the risk of death or Stage 3 or 4 disease was 5.27 (95% CI 1.85–14.96) times higher than those with CD4 <350 at delivery but ≥350 cells/μl at 6 weeks. The use of CD4 counts immediately postpartum to define HAART eligibility may lead to substantial misclassification.
doi:10.1089/aid.2009.0138
PMCID: PMC3120221  PMID: 20455759
16.  Mother to child transmission of HIV among Zimbabwean women who seroconverted postnatally: prospective cohort study 
Objectives To estimate the rates and timing of mother to infant transmission of HIV associated with breast feeding in mothers who seroconvert postnatally, and their breast milk and plasma HIV loads during and following seroconversion, compared with women who tested HIV positive at delivery.
Design Prospective cohort study.
Setting Urban Zimbabwe.
Participants 14 110 women and infants enrolled in the Zimbabwe Vitamin A for Mothers and Babies (ZVITAMBO) trial (1997-2001).
Main outcome measures Mother to child transmission of HIV, and breast milk and maternal plasma HIV load during the postpartum period.
Results Among mothers who tested HIV positive at baseline and whose infant tested HIV negative with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) at six weeks (n=2870), breastfeeding associated transmission was responsible for an average of 8.96 infant infections per 100 child years of breast feeding (95% CI 7.92 to 10.14) and varied little over the breastfeeding period. Breastfeeding associated transmission for mothers who seroconverted postnatally (n=334) averaged 34.56 infant infections per 100 child years (95% CI 26.60 to 44.91) during the first nine months after maternal infection, declined to 9.50 (95% CI 3.07 to 29.47) during the next three months, and was zero thereafter. Among women who seroconverted postnatally and in whom the precise timing of infection was known (≤90 days between last negative and first positive test; n=51), 62% (8/13) of transmissions occurred in the first three months after maternal infection and breastfeeding associated transmission was 4.6 times higher than in mothers who tested HIV positive at baseline and whose infant tested HIV negative with PCR at six weeks. Median plasma HIV concentration in all mothers who seroconverted postnatally declined from 5.0 log10 copies/mL at the last negative enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to 4.1 log10 copies/mL at 9-12 months after infection. Breast milk HIV load in this group was 4.3 log10 copies/mL 0-30 days after infection, but rapidly declined to 2.0 log10 copies/mL and <1.5 log10 copies/mL by 31-90 days and more than 90 days, respectively. Among women whose plasma sample collected soon after delivery tested negative for HIV with ELISA but positive with PCR (n=17), 75% of their infants were infected or had died by 12 months. An estimated 18.6% to 20.4% of all breastfeeding associated transmission observed in the ZVITAMBO trial occurred among mothers who seroconverted postnatally.
Conclusions Breastfeeding associated transmission is high during primary maternal HIV infection and is mirrored by a high but transient peak in breast milk HIV load. Around two thirds of breastfeeding associated transmission by women who seroconvert postnatally may occur while the mother is still in the “window period” of an antibody based test, when she would test HIV negative using one of these tests.
Trial registration Clinical trials.gov NCT00198718.
doi:10.1136/bmj.c6580
PMCID: PMC3007097  PMID: 21177735
17.  Mother to child transmission of HIV among Zimbabwean women who seroconverted postnatally: prospective cohort study 
The BMJ  2010;341:c6580.
Objectives To estimate the rates and timing of mother to infant transmission of HIV associated with breast feeding in mothers who seroconvert postnatally, and their breast milk and plasma HIV loads during and following seroconversion, compared with women who tested HIV positive at delivery.
Design Prospective cohort study.
Setting Urban Zimbabwe.
Participants 14 110 women and infants enrolled in the Zimbabwe Vitamin A for Mothers and Babies (ZVITAMBO) trial (1997-2001).
Main outcome measures Mother to child transmission of HIV, and breast milk and maternal plasma HIV load during the postpartum period.
Results Among mothers who tested HIV positive at baseline and whose infant tested HIV negative with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) at six weeks (n=2870), breastfeeding associated transmission was responsible for an average of 8.96 infant infections per 100 child years of breast feeding (95% CI 7.92 to 10.14) and varied little over the breastfeeding period. Breastfeeding associated transmission for mothers who seroconverted postnatally (n=334) averaged 34.56 infant infections per 100 child years (95% CI 26.60 to 44.91) during the first nine months after maternal infection, declined to 9.50 (95% CI 3.07 to 29.47) during the next three months, and was zero thereafter. Among women who seroconverted postnatally and in whom the precise timing of infection was known (≤90 days between last negative and first positive test; n=51), 62% (8/13) of transmissions occurred in the first three months after maternal infection and breastfeeding associated transmission was 4.6 times higher than in mothers who tested HIV positive at baseline and whose infant tested HIV negative with PCR at six weeks. Median plasma HIV concentration in all mothers who seroconverted postnatally declined from 5.0 log10 copies/mL at the last negative enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to 4.1 log10 copies/mL at 9-12 months after infection. Breast milk HIV load in this group was 4.3 log10 copies/mL 0-30 days after infection, but rapidly declined to 2.0 log10 copies/mL and <1.5 log10 copies/mL by 31-90 days and more than 90 days, respectively. Among women whose plasma sample collected soon after delivery tested negative for HIV with ELISA but positive with PCR (n=17), 75% of their infants were infected or had died by 12 months. An estimated 18.6% to 20.4% of all breastfeeding associated transmission observed in the ZVITAMBO trial occurred among mothers who seroconverted postnatally.
Conclusions Breastfeeding associated transmission is high during primary maternal HIV infection and is mirrored by a high but transient peak in breast milk HIV load. Around two thirds of breastfeeding associated transmission by women who seroconvert postnatally may occur while the mother is still in the “window period” of an antibody based test, when she would test HIV negative using one of these tests.
Trial registration Clinical trials.gov NCT00198718.
doi:10.1136/bmj.c6580
PMCID: PMC3007097  PMID: 21177735

Results 1-17 (17)