The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended a universal antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all HIV-infected children before the age of two since 2010, but this implies an early identification of these infants. We described the Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission (PMTCT) cascade, the staffing and the quality of infrastructures in pediatric HIV care facilities, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey in 2011 in all health care facilities involved in PMTCT and pediatric HIV care in Ouagadougou. We assessed them according to their coverage in pediatric HIV care and WHO standards, through a desk review of medical registers and a semi-structured questionnaire administered to health-care workers (HCW).
In 2011, there was no offer of care in primary health care facilities for HIV-infected children in Ouagadougou. Six district hospitals and two university hospitals provided pediatric HIV care. Among the 67 592 pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in 2011, 85.9% were tested for HIV. The prevalence of HIV was 1.8% (95% Confidence Interval: 1.7%–1.9%). Among the 1 064 HIV-infected pregnant women attending antenatal clinics, 41.4% received a mother-to-child HIV transmission prevention intervention. Among the HIV-exposed infants, 313 (29.4%) had an early infant HIV test, and 306 (97.8%) of these infants tested received their result within a four-month period. Among the 40 children initially tested HIV-infected, 33 (82.5%) were referred to a health care facility, 3 (9.0%) were false positive, and 27 (90.0%) were initiated on ART. Although health care facilities were adequately supplied with HIV drugs, they were hindered by operational challenges such as shortage of infrastructures, laboratory reagents, and trained HCW.
The PMTCT cascade revealed bottle necks in PMTCT intervention and HIV early infant diagnosis. The staffing in HIV care and quality of health care infrastructures were also insufficient in 2011 in Ouagadougou.
In sub-Saharan Africa, bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a potential hazard for animals and humans health. The goal of this study was to improve our understanding of bTB epidemiology in Burkina Faso and especially Mycobacterium bovis transmission within and between the bovine and human populations.
Twenty six M. bovis strains were isolated from 101 cattle carcasses with suspected bTB lesions during routine meat inspections at the Bobo Dioulasso and Ouagadougou slaughterhouses. In addition, 7 M. bovis strains were isolated from 576 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. Spoligotyping, RDAf1 deletion and MIRU-VNTR typing were used for strains genotyping. The isolation of M. bovis strains was confirmed by spoligotyping and 12 spoligotype signatures were detected. Together, the spoligotyping and MIRU-VNTR data allowed grouping the 33 M. bovis isolates in seven clusters including isolates exclusively from cattle (5) or humans (1) or from both (1). Moreover, these data (genetic analyses and phenetic tree) showed that the M. bovis isolates belonged to the African 1 (Af1) clonal complex (81.8%) and the putative African 5 (Af5) clonal complex (18.2%), in agreement with the results of RDAf1 deletion typing.
This is the first detailed molecular characterization of M. bovis strains from humans and cattle in Burkina Faso. The distribution of the two Af1 and putative Af5 clonal complexes is comparable to what has been reported in neighbouring countries. Furthermore, the strain genetic profiles suggest that M. bovis circulates across the borders and that the Burkina Faso strains originate from different countries, but have a country-specific evolution. The genetic characterization suggests that, currently, M. bovis transmission occurs mainly between cattle, occasionally between cattle and humans and potentially between humans. This study emphasizes the bTB risk in cattle but also in humans and the difficulty to set up proper disease control strategies in Burkina Faso.
Bovine tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium bovis in livestock and wild animals. Humans can acquire this germ by aerogenous route when in close contact with infected animals, or by consuming unpasteurized dairy products from infected animals and also through the skin when handling infected carcasses. For the present study in Burkina Faso, M. bovis strains were collected from slaughtered animals during routine veterinarian inspection at the slaughterhouses of Bobo Dioulasso and Ouagadougou and also from patients with suspected pulmonary tuberculosis. The isolates were genetically characterized using three techniques: spoligotyping, MIRU-VNTR and RDAf1 deletion analysis. Our results highlight two aspects of M. bovis epidemiology that are crucial for disease control: i) M. bovis circulates between Burkina Faso and its neighbouring countries and ii) M. bovis is transmitted mainly between cattle, but also between cattle and humans, and potentially between humans. This study stresses the need to develop an efficient strategy to control M. bovis transmission, but also the difficulty to implement control measures because of the complex epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis in Burkina Faso.
In this multi-country cluster-randomized behavioural intervention trial promoting exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) in Africa, we compared growth of infants up to 6 months of age living in communities where peer counsellors promoted EBF with growth in those infants living in control communities.
A total of 82 clusters in Burkina Faso, Uganda and South Africa were randomised to either the intervention or the control arm. Feeding data and anthropometric measurements were collected at visits scheduled 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks post-partum. We calculated weight-for-length (WLZ), length-for-age (LAZ) and weight-for-age (WAZ) z-scores. Country specific adjusted Least Squares Means with 95% confidence intervals (CI) based on a longitudinal analysis are reported. Prevalence ratios (PR) for the association between peer counselling for EBF and wasting (WLZ < −2), stunting (LAZ < −2) and underweight (WAZ < −2) were calculated at each data collection point.
The study included a total of 2,579 children. Adjusting for socio-economic status, the mean WLZ at 24 weeks were in Burkina Faso −0.20 (95% CI −0.39 to −0.01) and in Uganda −0.23 (95% CI −0.43 to −0.03) lower in the intervention than in the control arm. In South Africa the mean WLZ at 24 weeks was 0.23 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.43) greater in the intervention than in the control arm. Differences in LAZ between the study arms were small and not statistically significant. In Uganda, infants in the intervention arm were more likely to be wasted compared to those in the control arm at 24 weeks (PR 2.36; 95% CI 1.11 to 5.00). Differences in wasting in South Africa and Burkina Faso and stunting and underweight in all three countries were small and not significantly different.
There were small differences in mean anthropometric indicators between the intervention and control arms in the study, but in Uganda and Burkina Faso, a tendency to slightly lower ponderal growth (weight-for-length z-scores) was found in the intervention arms.
Trial registration number
Exclusive breastfeeding promotion; Peer counselling; Child growth; Anthropometry; Stunting; Wasting; Underweight; Undernutrition; Community randomised trial
Skilled attendance is one of the major strategies to curtail maternal mortality, specifically in developing countries. Despite the low level of equipment, it is only in health facilities that skilled care are provided during pregnancy and childbirth; but there are some barriers which prevent women to use health facilities for good care.
This study was carried out in Ouargaye where a skilled care initiative was implemented by Family care International with the aim to increase the skilled attendance at delivery and Diapaga, the control district. Thirty (30) In-depth interviews, 8 Focus group discussions and 6 non participant observations were carried out. Participants were women from 15-49 years. All the interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and analysed line by line. NVIVO was used to manage the interviews.
Four types of barriers have been described by women; 1) the cultural barriers concern the low status of women in the two districts and some traditional beliefs which mean that women can not always decide to use health facility by themselves. 2) The geographical barrier is about the distance to reach health facility and the lack of transport means. 3) The financial barrier to pay care and drugs. 4) Bad organization of care and poor quality of care provided to women.
To minimize the risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, it is important that women use health facilities. The barriers described by women are not insurmountable but needed to be integrated in a global comprehensive health policy.
Maternal care; skilled care; rural; medical district; Burkina Faso
Health centres and hospitals play a crucial role in reducing maternal mortality and morbidity by offering respectively Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (BEmONC) and Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (CEmONC). The readiness of hospitals to provide CEmONC depends on the availability of qualified human resources, infrastructure like surgical theatres, and supplies like drugs and blood for transfusion. We assessed the readiness of district and regional hospitals in Burkina Faso to provide two key CEmONC functions, namely caesarean section and blood transfusion. As countries conduct EmONC needs assessments it is critical to provide national and subnational data, e.g. on the distribution of EmONC facilities as well as on facilities lacking the selected signal functions, to support the planning process for upgrading facilities so that they are ready to provide CEmONC.
In a cross-sectional study we assessed the availability of relevant health workers, obstetric guidelines, caesarean section and blood transfusion services and experience with quality assurance approaches across all forty-three (43) district and nine (9) regional hospitals.
The indicator corresponding to one comprehensive emergency care unit for 500,000 inhabitants was not achieved in Burkina Faso. Physicians with surgical skills, surgical assistants and anaesthesiologist assistants are sufficiently available in only 51.2%, 88.3% and 72.0% of district hospitals, respectively. Two thirds of regional and 20.9% of district hospitals had blood banks. Most district hospitals as opposed to only one third of regional hospitals had experience in maternal death reviews.
Our findings suggest that only 27.8% of hospitals in Burkina Faso at the time of the study could continuously offer caesarean sections and blood transfusion services. Four years later, progress has likely been made but many challenges remain to be overcome. Information provided in this study can serve as a baseline for monitoring progress in district and regional hospitals.
Readiness; Hospitals; Caesarean section; Blood transfusion; Burkina Faso
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces transmission of HIV-1. However, genital HIV-1 can be detected in patients on ART. We analyzed factors associated with genital HIV-1 shedding among high-risk women on ART in Burkina Faso.
Plasma viral load (PVL) and enriched cervicovaginal lavage HIV-1 RNA were measured every 3–6 months for up to 8 years. Random-effects logistic and linear regression models were used to analyze associations of frequency and quantity of genital HIV-1 RNA with behavioral and biological factors, adjusting for within-woman correlation. The lower limit of detection of HIV-1 RNA in plasma and eCVL samples was 300 copies per milliliter.
One hundred and eighty-eight participants initiated ART from 2004 to 2011. PVL was detectable in 16% (171/1050) of visits, in 52% (90/174) of women. Cervicovaginal HIV-1 RNA was detectable in 16% (128/798) of visits with undetectable plasma HIV-1 RNA in 45% (77/170) of women. After adjusting for PVL, detectable cervicovaginal HIV-1 RNA was independently associated with abnormal vaginal discharge and use of nevirapine or zidovudine vs. efavirenz and stavudine, respectively; longer time on ART and hormonal contraception were not associated with increased shedding. The presence of bacterial vaginosis, herpes simplex virus-2 DNA, and the use of nevirapine vs efavirenz were independently associated with an increased quantity of cervicovaginal HIV-1 RNA.
Certain ART regimens, abnormal vaginal discharge, bacterial vaginosis, and genital herpes simplex virus-2 are associated with HIV-1 cervicovaginal shedding or quantity in women on ART after adjusting for PVL. This may reduce the effectiveness of ART as prevention in high-risk populations.
antiretrovirals; HIV-1 RNA; cervicovaginal lavage; nevirapine; bacterial vaginosis; herpes simplex virus type-2
Maternal morbidity is more common than maternal death, and population-based estimates of the burden of maternal morbidity could provide important indicators for monitoring trends, priority setting and evaluating the health impact of interventions. Methods based on lay reporting of obstetric events have been shown to lack specificity and there is a need for new approaches to measure the population burden of maternal morbidity. A computer-based probabilistic tool was developed to estimate the likelihood of maternal morbidity and its causes based on self-reported symptoms and pregnancy/delivery experiences. Development involved the use of training datasets of signs, symptoms and causes of morbidity from 1734 facility-based deliveries in Benin and Burkina Faso, as well as expert review. Preliminary evaluation of the method compared the burden of maternal morbidity and specific causes from the probabilistic tool with clinical classifications of 489 recently-delivered women from Benin, Bangladesh and India.
Using training datasets, it was possible to create a probabilistic tool that handled uncertainty of women’s self reports of pregnancy and delivery experiences in a unique way to estimate population-level burdens of maternal morbidity and specific causes that compared well with clinical classifications of the same data. When applied to test datasets, the method overestimated the burden of morbidity compared with clinical review, although possible conceptual and methodological reasons for this were identified.
The probabilistic method shows promise and may offer opportunities for standardised measurement of maternal morbidity that allows for the uncertainty of women’s self-reported symptoms in retrospective interviews. However, important discrepancies with clinical classifications were observed and the method requires further development, refinement and evaluation in a range of settings.
Maternal health; Morbidity; Developing countries; Pregnancy; Childbirth; Bayesian analysis; Africa; Asia
Although substantiated by little evidence, concerns about zidovudine-related anaemia in pregnancy have influenced antiretroviral (ARV) regimen choice for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1, especially in settings where anaemia is common.
Eligible HIV-infected pregnant women in Burkina Faso, Kenya and South Africa were followed from 28 weeks of pregnancy until 12–24 months after delivery (n = 1070). Women with a CD4 count of 200-500cells/mm3 and gestational age 28–36 weeks were randomly assigned to zidovudine-containing triple-ARV prophylaxis continued during breastfeeding up to 6-months, or to zidovudine during pregnancy plus single-dose nevirapine (sd-NVP) at labour. Additionally, two cohorts were established, women with CD4 counts: <200 cells/mm3 initiated antiretroviral therapy, and >500 cells/mm3 received zidovudine during pregnancy plus sd-NVP at labour. Mild (haemoglobin 8.0-10.9 g/dl) and severe anaemia (haemoglobin < 8.0 g/dl) occurrence were assessed across study arms, using Kaplan-Meier and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models.
At enrolment (corresponded to a median 32 weeks gestation), median haemoglobin was 10.3 g/dl (IQR = 9.2-11.1). Severe anaemia occurred subsequently in 194 (18.1%) women, mostly in those with low baseline haemoglobin, lowest socio-economic category, advanced HIV disease, prolonged breastfeeding (≥6 months) and shorter ARV exposure. Severe anaemia incidence was similar in the randomized arms (equivalence P-value = 0.32). After 1–2 months of ARV’s, severe anaemia was significantly reduced in all groups, though remained highest in the low CD4 cohort.
Severe anaemia occurs at a similar rate in women receiving longer triple zidovudine-containing regimens or shorter prophylaxis. Pregnant women with pre-existing anaemia and advanced HIV disease require close monitoring.
Trial registration number
Zidovudine; Pregnancy; HIV; Sub-Saharan Africa; Anaemia; Drug toxicity
We assessed 18–24-month postpartum disease progression risk among women in a randomized trial assessing efficacy and safety of prophylactic maternal antiretrovirals (ARVs). Interrupting prolonged triple-ARV prophylaxis had no effect on HIV-1 progression following cessation (compared to zidovudine until delivery with single-dose nevirapine without postpartum prophylaxis).
Background. Antiretroviral (ARV) prophylaxis effectively reduces mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV). However, it is unclear whether stopping ARVs after breastfeeding cessation affects maternal HIV disease progression. We assessed 18–24-month postpartum disease progression risk among women in a randomized trial assessing efficacy and safety of prophylactic maternal ARVs.
Methods. From 2005 to 2008, HIV–infected pregnant women with CD4+ counts of 200–500/mm3 were randomized to receive either triple ARV (zidovudine, lamivudine, and lopinavir/ritonavir during pregnancy and breastfeeding) or AZT/sdNVP (zidovudine until delivery with single-dose nevirapine without postpartum prophylaxis). Maternal disease progression was defined as the combined endpoint of death, World Health Organization clinical stage 4 disease, or CD4+ counts of <200/mm3.
Results. Among 824 randomized women, 789 had at least 1 study visit after cessation of ARV prophylaxis. Following delivery, progression risk up to 24 months postpartum in the triple ARV arm was significantly lower than in the AZT/sdNVP arm (15.7% vs 28.3%; P = .001), but the risks of progression after cessation of ARV prophylaxis (rather than after delivery) were not different (15.0% vs 13.8% 18 months after ARV cessation). Among women with CD4+ counts of 200–349/mm3 at enrollment, 24.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.7–35.5) progressed with triple ARV, and 23.0% (95% CI, 17.8–29.5) progressed with AZT/sdNVP, whereas few women in either arm (<5%) with initial CD4+ counts of ≥350/mm3 progressed.
Conclusions. Interrupting prolonged triple ARV prophylaxis had no effect on HIV progression following cessation (compared with AZT/sdNVP). However, women on triple ARV prophylaxis had lower progression risk during the time on triple ARV. Given the high rate of progression among women with CD4+ cells of <350/mm3, ARVs should not be discontinued in this group.
Clinical Trials Registration. ISRCTN71468410.
Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) together with a safe sexual behaviour is an important preventive strategy in the control of HIV. Although Health care workers (HCWs) are critical in the response to HIV, little is known about VCT and high risk behaviours (HRB) among this group in West Africa. This study aims to assess the prevalence of VCT and HRB among HCWs in Burkina Faso.
We collected data through a questionnaire in urban areas (Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso) and rural areas (Poni and Yatenga) among HCWs from 97 health care facilities. Urine samples were collected, screened for HIV using a Calypte® test kit and confirmed by Western Blot. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with the use of VCT services and with high-risk sex behaviour.
About 92.5% of eligible HCWs participated (1570 out of 1697). Overall, 38.2% of them (34.6% of women and 42.6% of men) had ever used VCT services. About 40% of HCWs reported that fear of knowing the test result was the main reason for not doing the HIV test. Male HCWs (p = 0.001), laboratory workers (p < 0.001), those having two years or more experience (p = 0.03), and those who had multiple partners (p = 0.001) were more likely to have tested for HIV. One fifth of HCWs reported multiple partners. Of these, thirteen percent did not use condoms. HCWs who had multiple partners were significantly more likely to be men, single, living in rural areas, and under the age of 29 years.
VCT was still very low among HCWs in Burkina Faso, while HRB was high.
These findings suggest that ‘HCW-friendly’ VCT centres should be implemented, securing confidentiality among colleagues. In addition, refreshment courses on HIV risk reduction, counselling and testing are certainly required during the professional career of HCWs.
VCT; High-risk sex; Health care workers
Delay in decision-making to use skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth is an important factor for maternal death in many developing countries. This paper examines how decisions for maternal care are made in two rural communities in Burkina Faso.
Focus group discussions (FGDs) and individual interviews (IDIs)) were used to collect information with 30 women in Ouargaye and Diapaga medical districts. All interviews were tape recorded and analyzed using QSR Nvivo 2.0.
Decision-making for use of obstetric care in the family follows the logic of the family’s management. Husbands, brothers-in-law and parents-in-law make the decision about whether to use a health facility for antenatal care or for delivery. In general, decision-makers are those who can pay, including the woman herself. Payment of care is the responsibility of men, according to women interviewed, because of their social role and status.
To increase use of health facilities in Ouargaye and Diapaga, the empowerment of women could be helpful as well as exemption of fees or cost sharing for care.
Decision-making process; Maternal care; Rural medical district; Burkina Faso
Introduction. Voluntary HIV counselling and testing (VCT) is a key element of treatment and is essential for prevention of vertical HIV transmission. Little information is available on the uptake of VCT in Burkina Faso. This study aims to assess the prevalence of VCT in urban Burkina Faso, where the epidemic is still highly concentrated. Methods. We conducted a two-stage clustered population-based survey among 1,694 subjects living in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. After informed consent was obtained, a behavioural questionnaire was administered to participants. Results. Overall, 10.2% of individuals had used VCT, while 9% were women. Among women who had a child after the launch of the programme to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), only 10.4% have been tested for HIV. Almost all participants (99.3%) were aware of HIV/AIDS, and 65% knew the main methods of prevention. In multivariate analysis, older age and being married and better educated were independent factors associated with VCT. Conclusions. Despite high public knowledge and awareness about HIV, VCT uptake was still very low and PMTCT coverage was poor. New strategies are required to increase VCT uptake in urban areas, in particular among the youngest age.
Postnatal transmission of HIV-1 through breast milk remains an unsolved challenge in many resource-poor settings where replacement feeding is not a safe alternative. WHO now recommends breastfeeding of infants born to HIV-infected mothers until 12 months of age, with either maternal highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) or peri-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in infants using nevirapine. As PEP, lamivudine showed a similar efficacy and safety as nevirapine, but with an expected lower rate of resistant HIV strains emerging in infants who fail PEP, and lower restrictions for future HIV treatment. Lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) is an attractive PEP candidate with presumably higher efficacy against HIV than nevirapine or lamivudine, and a higher genetic barrier to resistance selection. It showed an acceptable safety profile for the treatment of very young HIV-infected infants. The ANRS 12174 study aims to compare the risk of HIV-1 transmission during and safety of prolonged infant PEP with LPV/r (40/10 mg twice daily if 2-4 kg and 80/20 mg twice daily if >4 kg) versus Lamivudine (7,5 mg twice daily if 2-4 kg, 25 mg twice daily if 4-8 kg and 50 mg twice daily if >8 kg) from day 7 until one week after cessation of BF (maximum 50 weeks of prophylaxis) to prevent postnatal HIV-1 acquisition between 7 days and 50 weeks of age.
The ANRS 12174 study is a multinational, randomised controlled clinical trial conducted on 1,500 mother-infant pairs in Burkina Faso, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. We will recommend exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) until 26th week of life and cessation of breastfeeding at a maximum of 49 weeks in both trial arms.
HIV-uninfected infants at day 7 (± 2 days) born to HIV-1 infected mothers not eligible for HAART who choose to breastfeed their infants.
The primary endpoint is the acquisition of HIV-1 (as assessed by HIV-1 DNA PCR) between day 7 and 50 weeks of age. Secondary endpoints are safety (including resistance, adverse events and growth) until 50 weeks and HIV-1-free survival until 50 weeks.
This study will provide a new evidence-based intervention to support HIV-1-infected women not eligible for HAART to safely breastfeed their babies.
Trial registration number (
Infant mortality rates (IMR) remain high in many sub-Saharan African countries, especially in rural settings where access to health services may be limited. Studies in such communities can provide relevant data on the burden of and risk factors for infant death. We measured IMR and explored risk factors for infant death in a cohort of children born in Banfora Health District, a rural area in South-West Burkina Faso.
A prospective community-based cohort study was nested within the PROMISE-EBF trial (NCT00397150) in 24 villages of the study area. Maternal and infant baseline characteristics were collected at recruitment and after birth, respectively. Home visits were conducted at weeks 3, 6, 12, 24 and 52 after birth. Descriptive statistics were calculated using robust standard errors to account for cluster sampling. Cox multivariable regression was used to investigate potential risk factors for infant death.
Among the 866 live born children included in the study there were 98 infant deaths, yielding an IMR of 113 per 1000 live births (95% CI: 89–143). Over 75% of infant deaths had occurred by 6 months of age and the post neonatal infant mortality rate was 67 per 1000 live births (95% CI: 51–88). Infections (35%) and preterm births complications (23%) were the most common probable causes of death by 6 months. Multivariable analyses identified maternal history of child death, polygyny, twin births and poor anthropometric z-scores at week-3 as factors associated with increased risk of infant death.
We observed a very high IMR in a rural area of Burkina Faso, a country where 75% of the population lives in rural settings. Community-based health interventions targeting mothers and children at high risk are urgently needed to reduce the high burden of infant deaths in these areas.
Infant mortality; Risk factors; Rural areas; Burkina Faso
Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 (MTCT) remains a challenge in most resource-limited settings, particularly in Africa. Single-dose and short-course antiretroviral (ARV) regimens are only partially effective and have failed to achieve wide coverage despite their apparent simplicity. More potent ARV combinations are restricted to pregnant women who need treatment for themselves but are also infrequently used. Furthermore, postnatal transmission via breastfeeding is a serious additional threat. Modifications of infant feeding practices aim to reduce breast-milk HIV transmission: replacement feeding is neither affordable nor safe for the majority of African women, and early breastfeeding cessation (e.g. prior to 6 months of life) requires substantial care and nutritional counselling to be practised safely. The recent roll out of ARV treatment has changed the paradigm of prevention of MTCT. To date, postnatal ARV interventions that have been evaluated target either maternal ARV treatment to selected breastfeeding women, with good efficacy, or single-drug post-exposure prophylaxis for short periods of time to their neonates, with a partial efficacy and at the expense of acquisition of drug-related viral resistance. We hypothesize that a viable solution to eliminate paediatric AIDS lies in the universal provision of fully suppressive ARV regimens to all HIV-infected women through pregnancy, delivery, and covering the entire breastfeeding period. Based on the available evidence, we suggest translating into practice the recently available evidence on this matter without any further delay.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; drug therapy; immunology; Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active; Breast Feeding; adverse effects; CD4 Lymphocyte Count; Female; HIV-1; Health Resources; Humans; Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical; prevention & control; Pregnancy; Pregnancy Complications, Infectious; drug therapy
Transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) through breast-feeding may involve both cell-free and cell-associated virus. This latter viral reservoir remains, however, to be fully explored. CD4+ T cell-associated virus production in breast milk was therefore investigated.
The ex vivo spontaneous production of HIV-1 antigen and HIV-1 RNA by CD4+ T cells was measured in paired blood and breast milk samples from 15 HIV-1 infected women treated or not with antiretroviral drugs. Spontaneous antigen secreting cells (HIV-1-AgSCs) from breast milk and blood were enumerated by an ELISpot assay, and cell-associated HIV-1 RNA was quantified by real-time PCR in supernatants of CD4+ T cells cultured for 18 hours without addition of polyclonal activators.
Among the CD4+ T cells present in breast milk, memory cells expressing high levels of cell-surface activation markers were predominant. Spontaneous HIV-1-AgSCs were detected and enumerated in the breast milk of all 15 women, with a median number of 13.0 and 9.5 HIV-1- AgSCs/106 CD4+ T cells in aviremic (n = 7) and viremic (n = 8) women, respectively. Cell- associated HIV-1 RNA was detected in cell-free supernatants from 4/7 aviremic and 5/8 viremic individuals at median levels of 190 and 245 copies/ml, respectively.
Activated CD4+ T cells producing HIV-1 are detected in the breast milk of untreated individuals as well as those receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy. This finding strongly suggests that HIV-1 replication occurs in latently infected CD4+ T cells that, upon spontaneous activation, revert to productively infected cells. These cells might be responsible for a residual breast milk transmission despite maternal highly active antiretroviral therapy.
In developing countries, most childbirth occurs at home and is not assisted by skilled attendants. The situation increases the risk of death for both mother and child and has severe maternal complications. The purpose of this study was to describe women's perceptions of homebirths in the medical districts of Ouargaye and Diapaga.
A qualitative approach was used to gather information. This information was collected by using focus group discussions and individual interviews with 30 women. All the interviews were tape recorded and managed by using QSR NVIVO 2.0, qualitative data management software.
The findings show that homebirths are frequent because of prohibitive distance to health facilities, fast labour and easy labour, financial constraints, lack of decision making power to reach health facilities.
The study echoes the need for policy makers to make health facilities easily available to rural inhabitants to forestall maternal and child deaths in the two districts.
There is a scarcity of reliable data on perinatal mortality (PNM) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The PROMISE-EBF trial, during which we promoted exclusive breastfeeding, gave us the opportunity to describe the epidemiology of PNM in Banfora Health District, South-West in Burkina Faso.
To measure the perinatal mortality rate (PNMR) in the PROMISE-EBF cohort in Banfora Health District and to identify potential risk factors for perinatal death.
We used data collected prospectively during the PROMISE-EBF-trial to estimate the stillbirth rate (SBR) and early neonatal mortality rate (ENMR). We used binomial regression with generalized estimating equations to identify potential risk factors for perinatal death.
895 pregnant women were enrolled for data collection in the EBF trial and followed-up to 7 days after birth. The PNMR, the SBR and the ENMR, were 79 per 1000 (95% CI: 59-99), 54 per 1000 (95% CI: 38-69) and 27 per 1000 (95% CI: 9-44), respectively. In a multivariable analysis, nulliparous women (RR = 2.90, 95% CI: 1.6-5.0), primiparae mothers (RR = 2.20, 95% CI: 1.2-3.9), twins (RR = 4.0, 95% CI: 2.3-6.9) and giving birth during the dry season (RR = 2.1 95% CI: 1.3-3.3) were factors associated with increased risk of perinatal death. There was no evidence that risk of perinatal death differed between deliveries at home and at a health centre
Our study observed the highest PNMR ever reported in Burkina. There is an urgent need for sustainable interventions to improve maternal and newborn health in the country.
The aim of this paper was to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alternative training strategies for increasing access to emergency obstetric care in Burkina Faso.
Case extraction forms were used to record data on 2305 caesarean sections performed in 2004 and 2005 in hospitals in six out of the 13 health regions of Burkina Faso. Main effectiveness outcomes were mothers' and newborns' case fatality rates. The costs of performing caesarean sections were estimated from a health system perspective and Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratios were computed using the newborn case fatality rates.
Overall, case mixes per provider were comparable. Newborn case fatality rates (per thousand) varied significantly among obstetricians, general practitioners and clinical officers, at 99, 125 and 198, respectively. The estimated average cost per averted newborn death (x 1000 live births) for an obstetrician-led team compared to a general practitioner-led team was 11 757 international dollars, and for a general practitioner-led team compared to a clinical officer-led team it was 200 international dollars. Training of general practitioners appears therefore to be both effective and cost-effective in the short run. Clinical officers are associated with a high newborn case fatality rate.
Training substitutes is a viable option to increase access to life-saving operations in district hospitals. The high newborn case fatality rate among clinical officers could be addressed by a refresher course and closer supervision. These findings may assist in addressing supply shortages of skilled health personnel in sub-Saharan Africa.
Approaches to reduce or prevent the risk of postnatal transmission through breastfeeding include the avoidance of all BF and the use of exclusive replacement feeds (RF) or exclusive breastfeeding for a limited duration with early and rapid cessation of BF around 4–6 months of age. The efficacy and safety of the latter approach has not been established and studies are in progress to provide further information. In addition, inactivation of HIV in breastmilk would allow breastfeeding to continue while reducing the risk of postnatal transmission of HIV, and may be usefully applied in certain circumstances, such as for premature infants or while a mother recovers from mastitits. In this review, experience from clinical trials or studies additional to their main objective of assessing rates and risk factors for MTCT, is discussed. This may inform policy, programming and training options, and be especially valuable in the absence of conclusive data of the efficacy of the interventions to be applied during the breastfeeding period.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; prevention & control; transmission; Breast Feeding; adverse effects; Disease Transmission; Vertical; prevention & control; Female; Humans; Infant; Milk; Human; virology; Pregnancy; Safety
Substantial reductions in maternal mortality are called for in Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG-5), thus assuming that maternal mortality is measurable. A key difficulty is attributing causes of death for the many women who die unaided in developing countries. Verbal autopsy (VA) can elicit circumstances of death, but data need to be interpreted reliably and consistently to serve as global indicators. Recent developments in probabilistic modelling of VA interpretation are adapted and assessed here for the specific circumstances of pregnancy-related death.
A preliminary version of the InterVA-M probabilistic VA interpretation model was developed and refined with adult female VA data from several sources, and then assessed against 258 additional VA interviews from Burkina Faso. Likely causes of death produced by the model were compared with causes previously determined by local physicians. Distinction was made between free-text and closed-question data in the VA interviews, to assess the added value of free-text material on the model's output.
Following rationalisation between the model and physician interpretations, cause-specific mortality fractions were broadly similar. Case-by-case agreement between the model and any of the reviewing physicians reached approximately 60%, rising to approximately 80% when cases with a discrepancy were reviewed by an additional physician. Cardiovascular disease and malaria showed the largest differences between the methods, and the attribution of infections related to pregnancy also varied. The model estimated 30% of deaths to be pregnancy-related, of which half were due to direct causes. Data derived from free-text made no appreciable difference.
InterVA-M represents a potentially valuable new tool for measuring maternal mortality in an efficient, consistent and standardised way. Further development, refinement and validation are planned. It could become a routine tool in research and service settings where levels and changes in pregnancy-related deaths need to be measured, for example in assessing progress towards MDG-5.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) are common sexually transmitted infections (STI). We assessed the cumulative risk of NG and CT in a cohort of HIV-1-infected high-risk women taking antiretrovirals over 4 years in Burkina Faso.
Between March 2007 and February 2011, participants were followed every 3–6 months. At each visit, participants underwent a gynaecological examination with collection of cervical and vaginal swabs. Random-effects logistic regression models were used to analyse associations of NG and CT infection with behavioural and biological factors.
172 women had samples tested for NG and CT during the study period, in a total of 1135 visits. NG was detected in 6.4% of women (11/172, 95% CI 2.7 to 10.1) at a rate of 2.76 cases (95% CI 1.53 to 4.99) per 100 person-years. CT was detected in 1.7% (3/172, 95% CI 0 to 3.7) of women at a rate of 0.75 cases (95% CI 0.24 to 2.34) per 100 person-years. The majority of women were asymptomatic (9/14). In the multivariable model, the presence of NG or CT was associated with tobacco use (aOR=11.85, 95% CI 1.13 to 124.17), and concurrent genital HIV-1 RNA shedding (aOR=4.78, 95% CI 1.17 to 19.46). Higher levels of education (aOR=0.17, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.92), and age greater than 35 years (aOR=0.07, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.92) were associated with lower odds of infection.
The risk of NG or CT infection remains low among high-risk women in Bobo-Dioulasso. This provides some evidence that antiretroviral use does not contribute to behavioural disinhibition. The asymptomatic nature of most infections underscores the need for regular screening and treatment of STIs in core groups.
Africa; Anteretroviral Therapy; Chlamydia Infection; Gonorrhoea; HIV