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1.  Recent Advances in Understanding the Microbiology of the Female Reproductive Tract and the Causes of Premature Birth 
Data derived from molecular microbiological investigations of the human vagina have led to the discovery of resident bacterial communities that exhibit marked differences in terms of species composition. All undergo dynamic changes that are likely due to intrinsic host and behavioral factors. Similar types of bacteria have been found in both amniotic fluid and the vagina, suggesting a potential route of colonization. Given that not all of the species involved in intrauterine infections are readily cultivated, it is important that culture-independent methods of analysis must be used to understand the etiology of these infections. Further research is needed to establish whether an ascending pathway from the vagina to the amniotic cavity enables the development of intrauterine infections.
PMCID: PMC3004384  PMID: 21197076
2.  Obstetrician-Gynecologists and Perinatal Infections: A Review of Studies of the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network (2005–2009) 
Background. Maternal infection is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, and ob-gyns are in a unique position to help prevent and treat infections. Methods. This paper summarizes studies completed by the Research Department of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists regarding perinatal infections that were published between 2005 and 2009. Results. Obstetrician-gynecologists are routinely screening for hepatitis B and HIV, and many counsel prenatal patients regarding hepatitis B and toxoplasmosis. However, other infections are not regularly discussed, and many cited time constraints as a barrier to counseling. A majority discusses the transmission of giardiasis and toxoplasmosis, but few knew the source of cryptosporidiosis or cyclosporiasis. Conclusions. Many of the responding ob-gyns were unaware of or not adhering to infection management guidelines. Obstetrician-gynecologists are knowledgeable regarding perinatal infections; however, guidelines must be better disseminated perhaps via a single infection management summary. This paper identified knowledge gaps and areas in which practice can be improved and importantly highlights the need for a comprehensive set of management guidelines for a host of infections, so that physicians can have an easy resource when encountering perinatal infections.
PMCID: PMC2989373  PMID: 21113289
3.  Easiness of Use and Validity Testing of VS-SENSE Device for Detection of Abnormal Vaginal Flora and Bacterial Vaginosis 
Accessing vaginal pH is fundamental during gynaecological visit for the detection of abnormal vaginal flora (AVF), but use of pH strips may be time-consuming and difficult to interpret. The aim of this study was to evaluate the VS-SENSE test (Common Sense Ltd, Caesarea, Israel) as a tool for the diagnosis of AVF and its correlation with abnormal pH and bacterial vaginosis (BV). The study population consisted of 45 women with vaginal pH ≥ 4.5 and 45 women with normal pH. Vaginal samples were evaluated by VS-SENSE test, microscopy and microbiologic cultures. Comparing with pH strips results, VS-SENSE test specificity was 97.8% and sensitivity of 91%. All severe cases of BV and aerobic vaginitis (AV) were detected by the test. Only one case with normal pH had an unclear result. Concluding, VS-SENSE test is easy to perform, and it correlates with increased pH, AVF, and the severe cases of BV and AV.
PMCID: PMC2952793  PMID: 20953405
4.  Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis: A Multicenter, Double-Blind, Double-Dummy, Randomised Phase III Study Comparing Secnidazole and Metronidazole 
Objective. Multiple-dose metronidazole oral therapy is currently the reference treatment for bacterial vaginosis (BV). This double-blind, double-dummy, noninferiority study compared the efficacy of secnidazole, another nitroimidazole with pharmacokinetics allowing a single dose regimen, to this standard treatment. Methods. A total of 577 patients were randomized to receive metronidazole (500 mg, b.i.d for seven days) or secnidazole (2 g, once). Therapeutic cure at D28 was defined as the resolution of vaginal discharge, positive KOH whiff test, vaginal pH >4.5 and Nugent score >7 on Gram-stained vaginal fluid. Results. According to this primary endpoint, the single-dose secnidazole regimen was shown to be at least as effective as the multiple-dose metronidazole regimen (60.1 % cured women vs 59.5% , 95% confidence interval with a noninferiority margin of 10%: [−0.082; 0.0094]). Safety profiles were comparable in both groups. Conclusion. The secnidazole regimen studied represents an effective, convenient therapeutic alternative that clinicians should consider in routine practice.
PMCID: PMC2946572  PMID: 20885970
5.  Vaginal Practices of HIV-Negative Zimbabwean Women 
Background. Vaginal practices (VPs) may increase HIV risk by injuring vaginal epithelium or by increasing risk of bacterial vaginosis, an established risk factor for HIV. Methods. HIV-negative Zimbabwean women (n = 2,185) participating in a prospective study on hormonal contraception and HIV risk completed an ancillary questionnaire capturing detailed VP data at quarterly followup visits for two years. Results. Most participants (84%) reported ever cleansing inside the vagina, and at 40% of visits women reported drying the vagina using cloth or paper. Vaginal tightening using cloth/cotton wool, lemon juice, traditional herbs/powders, or other products was reported at 4% of visits. Women with ≥15 unprotected sex acts monthly had higher odds of cleansing (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.17, 95% CI: 1.04–1.32). Women with sexually transmitted infections had higher odds of tightening (aOR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.08–1.86). Conclusion. Because certain vaginal practices were associated with other HIV risk factors, synergism between VPs and other risk factors should be explored.
PMCID: PMC2943083  PMID: 20871844
6.  TLR-Mediated Preterm Birth in Response to Pathogenic Agents 
The incidence of preterm birth in developed countries has risen in the past decades. Underlying causes for this enigmatic pregnancy complication are numerous, yet infectious agents that induce dysregualtion of immunity at the maternal-fetal interface pose one of the most probable causes of preterm birth. This paper highlights two factors regarding maternal infections that trigger unscheduled inflammatory sequences that are deleterious to the maternal-fetal balance necessary to maintain pregnancy. Firstly, we discuss the role of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) as sentinels of uterine immunity in the context of response to pathogens. We highlight the idea that particular TLR activations lead to differential immune cascades that induce preterm birth. Secondly, two alternative routes of pathogenic entry may prove to be critical for inducing preterm birth via a cytokine storm or a secondary and currently unknown cell-mediated mechanism of uterine inflammation. This paper summarizes pathways that underlie activation of adverse and diverse immune responses to foreign agents that may result in preterm birth.
PMCID: PMC2933901  PMID: 20827416
7.  Unnecessary Workup of Asymptomatic Neonates in the Era of Group B Streptococcus Prophylaxis 
Asymptomatic term neonates born to mothers who are Group B Streptococcus (GBS) unknown or GBS positive but “inadequately” treated prior to delivery do not require invasive laboratory evaluation. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of mother/baby dyads born from January 1, 2005 until September 30, 2007 at the Medical College of Georgia. Their current protocol is to obtain a Complete Blood Count with Differential (CBC with D), Blood Culture (BC), and C-reactive protein (CRP) after birth. Mother/baby dyads (n = 242) that met inclusion criteria were reviewed. Of these 242 babies 25 (10%) were started on antibiotics after the initial lab values were known. None of the blood cultures were positive and the CRP's were normal. The 2002 GBS guidelines call for laboratory evaluation of “at-risk” neonates, but the workup of these babies is not only costly, it does not provide any advantage over old fashioned clinical observation for the evaluation and treatment of early onset GBS sepsis.
PMCID: PMC2933854  PMID: 20827303
8.  Elevated Levels of IL-10 and G-CSF Associated with Asymptomatic Malaria in Pregnant Women 
In sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 30 million pregnant women are at risk of contracting malaria annually. Nearly 36% of healthy pregnant women receiving routine antenatal care tested positive for Plasmodium falciparum HRP-II antigen in Ghana. We tested the hypothesis that asymptomatic HRP II positive pregnant women expressed a unique Th1 and Th2 phenotype that differs from healthy controls. Plasma from healthy (n = 15) and asymptomatic (n = 25) pregnant women were evaluated for 27 biomarkers (IL-1b, IL-1ra, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-9, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, IL-15, IL- 17, Eotaxin, bFGF-2, G-CSF, GM-CSF, IFN-γ, IP-10, MCP-1, MIP-1α, MIP-1β, PDGF-bb, RANTES, TNF, and VEGF) associated with Th1 and Th2 cytokine homeostasis. IL-10 and G-CSF levels were elevated in the asymptomatic group when compared with the healthy group (P = .031 and .041, resp.). The median ratios of IL-1β:5, IL-1β:10, IL-1β:G-CSF, IL-1β:Eotaxin, IL-12:G-CSF, IL-15:10, IL-17:G-CSF, IL-17:Eotaxin, TNF:IL-4, TNF:IL-5, and TNF:G-CSF were significantly different among the two groups. Thus, asymptomatic malaria carriage may be linked to circulating levels of IL-10 and G-CSF.
PMCID: PMC2913525  PMID: 20706538
9.  Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: A Fresh Look 
Recent work on the Molicutes that associate with genital tract tissues focuses on four species that may be of interest in potential maternal, fetal, and neonatal infection and in contributing to adverse pregnancy outcomes. Mycoplasma hominis and Ureaplasma urealyticum have historically been the subject of attention, but Mycoplasma genitalis which causes male urethritis in addition to colonizing the female genital tract and the division of Ureaplasma into two species, urealyticum and parvum, has also added new taxonomic clarity. The role of these genital tract inhabitants in infection during pregnancy and their ability to invade and infect placental and fetal tissue is discussed. In particular, the role of some of these organisms in prematurity may be mechanistically related to their ability to induce inflammatory cytokines, thereby triggering pathways leading to preterm labor. A review of this intensifying exploration of the mycoplasmas in relation to pregnancy yields several questions which will be important to examine in future research.
PMCID: PMC2913664  PMID: 20706675
10.  Prevalence and Risk Factors of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Cervical Neoplasia in Women from a Rural Area of Southern Mozambique 
There is limited information on the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and the prevalence of cervical neoplasia in rural sub-Saharan Africa. This study describes the prevalence and the etiology of STIs and the prevalence of cervical neoplasia among women in southern Mozambique. An age-stratified cross-sectional study was performed where 262 women aged 14 to 61 years were recruited at the antenatal clinic (59%), the family-planning clinic (7%), and from the community (34%). At least one active STI was diagnosed in 79% of women. Trichomonas vaginalis was present in 31% of all study participants. The prevalence of Neisseria gonorrhea and Chlamydia trachomatis were 14% and 8%, respectively, and Syphilis was diagnosed in 12% of women. HPV DNA was detected in 40% of women and cervical neoplasia was diagnosed in 12% of all women. Risk factors associated with the presence of some of the STIs were being divorced or widowed, having more than one sexual partner and having the partner living in another area. A higher prevalence was observed in the reproductive age group and some of the STIs were more frequently diagnosed in pregnant women. STI control programs are a priority to reduce the STIs burden, including HIV and cervical neoplasia.
PMCID: PMC2913799  PMID: 20706691
11.  Identification of Phylogenetic Position in the Chlamydiaceae Family for Chlamydia Strains Released from Monkeys and Humans with Chlamydial Pathology 
Based on the results of the comparative analysis concerning relatedness and evolutional difference of the 16S–23S nucleotide sequences of the middle ribosomal cluster and 23S rRNA I domain, and based on identification of phylogenetic position for Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Chlamydia trichomatis strains released from monkeys, relatedness of the above stated isolates with similar strains released from humans and with strains having nucleotide sequences presented in the GenBank electronic database has been detected for the first time ever. Position of these isolates in the Chlamydiaceae family phylogenetic tree has been identified. The evolutional position of the investigated original Chlamydia and Chlamydophila strains close to analogous strains from the Gen-Bank electronic database has been demonstrated. Differences in the 16S–23S nucleotide sequence of the middle ribosomal cluster and 23S rRNA I domain of plasmid and nonplasmid Chlamydia trachomatis strains released from humans and monkeys relative to different genotype groups (group B-B, Ba, D, Da, E, L1, L2, L2a; intermediate group-F, G, Ga) have been revealed for the first time ever. Abnormality in incA chromosomal gene expression resulting in Chlamydia life development cycle disorder, and decrease of Chlamydia virulence can be related to probable changes in the nucleotide sequence of the gene under consideration
PMCID: PMC2909722  PMID: 20671971
12.  Screening for Group B Streptococcus: A Private Hospital's Experience 
Objective. To assess the effect of universal screening and administration of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent early-onset neonatal GBS sepsis at a private tertiary care hospital since issuance of the 2002 CDC guidelines for preventing perinatal GBS disease. Methods. Retrospective analysis of women delivering between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2004 at a private tertiary care hospital in Houston, Texas. The percentage of women screened, GBS positive women receiving intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis, and infants developing early-onset GBS sepsis were determined. Results. 2,108 women delivered 2,135 infants with 1,874 (89%) screened for GBS. Of those screened, 1,322 (71%) tested negative and 552 (29%) tested positive for GBS. In this analysis of 2,135 infants, 3 (0.94 cases/1,000 live births) were diagnosed with invasive GBS sepsis. Conclusion. High rates of screening of pregnant women for GBS colonization and use of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis for GBS carriers can be achieved in a private tertiary care hospital setting. “Synopsis: High screening rates for group B streptococcus in a private tertiary care hospital reduce the incidence of maternal and early onset neonatal GBS infection.”
PMCID: PMC2905700  PMID: 20689734
13.  Pregnancy Complicated by Ludwig's Angina Requiring Delivery 
At 33 weeks of gestation, a 24-year-old developed Ludwig's angina that worsened despite aggressive therapy. This is the first reported case of Ludwig's Angina in pregnancy that required an emergent cesarean section for fetal indications. Delivery may have contributed to improvement in the mother's health status.
PMCID: PMC2901606  PMID: 20628589
14.  Interactions of Lactobacilli with Pathogenic Streptococcus pyogenes 
Objective. To determine whether (1) a decreased concentration of Lactobacilli allows S. pyogenes to grow; (2) S. pyogenes is able to grow in the presence of healthy Lactobacillus concentrations; (3) S. pyogenes is capable of inhibiting Lactobacilli. Methods. One hundred fifty patient samples of S. pyogenes were mixed with four different concentrations of L. crispatus and L. jensenii. Colony counts and pH measurements were taken from these concentrations and compared using t-tests and ANOVA statistical analyses. Results. Statistical tests showed no significant difference between the colony counts of S. pyogenes by itself and growth when mixed with Lactobacilli, and no significant difference between the colony counts of S. pyogenes in the four different concentrations of Lactobacilli. Conclusion. The statistical data representing the growth of these two organisms suggests that Lactobacilli did not inhibit the growth of S. pyogenes. Also, S. pyogenes did not inhibit the growth of Lactobacilli.
PMCID: PMC2874919  PMID: 20508738
15.  Hepatitis B Response of Premature Infants after Primary and Booster Immunisation with a Diphtheria-Tetanus-Acellular Pertussis-Hepatitis B-Inactivated Poliovirus/Haemophilus Influenzae Type B Vaccine 
A range of schedules are recommended for hepatitis B vaccination of premature infants. This open-label study (217744/083) compared the immune response of premature (N = 94) and full-term infants (N = 92) to hepatitis B antigen following primary administration of hexavalent DTPa-HBV-IPV/Hib vaccine at 2–4–6 months and a booster dose at 18 months. Anti-HBsAg antibodies were determined before and one month after primary and booster doses. There were no significant differences in postprimary seroprotection rates (anti-HBsAg >10 mIU/mL; preterm 93.4%; full-term 95.2%) or geometric mean concentrations (634 versus 867 mIU/ml), and neither appeared to be related to gestational length or birth weight. Prebooster seroprotection rates were 75 and 80.6%, respectively. Six premature infants did not respond to primary and booster doses. Primary and booster vaccinations with DTPa-HBV-IPV/Hib elicit satisfactory anti-HBsAg responses in preterm infants, which are not influenced by gestational age or birth weight. This schedule and vaccine will greatly facilitate the immunisation of premature infants.
PMCID: PMC2853856  PMID: 20396673
16.  Malaria, Intestinal Helminths and Other Risk Factors for Stillbirth in Ghana 
Objective. The objective of the study was to assess Plasmodium/intestinal helminth infection in pregnancy and other risk factors for stillbirth in Ghana. Methods. A cross-sectional study of women presenting for delivery in two hospitals was conducted during November-December 2006. Data collected included sociodemographic information, medical and obstetric histories, and anthropometric measures. Laboratory investigations for the presence of Plasmodium falciparum and intestinal helminths, and tests for hemoglobin levels were also performed. Results. The stillbirth rate was relatively high in this population (5%). Most of the stillbirths were fresh and 24% were macerated. When compared to women with no malaria, women with malaria had increased risk of stillbirth (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.2–9.3). Other factors associated with stillbirth were severe anemia, low serum folate concentration, past induced abortion, and history of stillbirth. Conclusion. The fact that most of the stillbirths were fresh suggests that higher quality intrapartum care could reduce stillbirth rates.
PMCID: PMC2850132  PMID: 20379355
17.  Mycoplasma genitalium among Young, Urban Pregnant Women 
Objective. As the consequences of Mycoplasma genitalium in pregnant women are unknown, we examined the relationship between prenatal M. genitalium infection and SAB. Methods. The presence of M. genitalium was determined by PCR in urine from 82 women who subsequently experienced a SAB and 134 women who maintained their pregnancies past 22 weeks gestation. The relationships between M. genitalium and subsequent SAB, demographic, current pregnancy, and reproductive health history characteristics were evaluated. Results. Compared to women without M. genitalium, women with M. genitalium were more likely to report nulliparity (41.7% versus 17.4%, P = .04), history of pelvic inflammatory disease (27.3% versus 8.8%, P = .08), prior C. trachomatis infection (63.6% versus 36.9%, P = .11,) and problems getting pregnant (18.2% versus 4.4%, P = .10). M. genitalium was not associated with SAB (AOR 0.9, 95% CI 0.2–3.8). Conclusions. Pregnant women who test positive for M. genitalium do not have an increased risk of SAB but report a history of reproductive morbidities.
PMCID: PMC2850137  PMID: 20379360
18.  Evidence for Vertical Transmission of HPV from Mothers to Infants 
Few large studies have evaluated concordance based on a broad spectrum of human papillomavirus (HPV) types in oral and genital specimens of mothers and their recently born infants. This information is important in determining whether HPV vaccines administered prior to pregnancy may be useful for preventing vertical transmission. HPV DNA was positive in 30% of mothers and 1.5% of newborns. Maternal/newborn concordance (HPV+/+ or HPV−/−) was 71%. Among HPV DNA+ mothers, only 3% of their infants were DNA+ and only 1 pair had the same HPV type. Among HPV− women, 0.8% of infants were HPV+. HPV DNA detected in hospitalized newborns reflects current infection transmitted to infants during pregnancy or delivery. None of the mother/baby HPV DNA+ concordance pairs detected viral types found in HPV vaccines suggesting that vaccination prior to pregnancy is unlikely to be efficacious in preventing vertical transmission.
PMCID: PMC2838362  PMID: 20300545
19.  Genital Tuberculosis as the Cause of Tuboovarian Abscess in an Immunosuppressed Patient 
Background. Although tuberculosis (TB) is a major health problem worldwide, primary extrapulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB), and in particular female genital tract infection, remains a rare event. Case Report. A 35-year-old human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositive woman of African descent with lower abdominal pain and fever of two days duration underwent surgery due to left adnexal mass suggesting pelvic inflammatory disease. The surgical situs showed a four quadrant peritonitis, consistent with the clinical symptoms of the patient, provoked by a tuboovarian abscess (TOA) on the left side. All routine diagnostic procedures failed to determine the causative organism/pathogen of the infection. Histopathological evaluation identified a necrotic granulomatous salpingitis and specific PCR analysis corroborated Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. Tb). Consequently, antituberculotic therapy was provided. Conclusion. In the differential diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease, internal genital tuberculosis should be considered. Moreover, physicians should consider tuberculous infections early in the work-up of patients when immunosuppressive conditions are present.
PMCID: PMC2834956  PMID: 20224814
20.  Adherence to Diaphragm Use for Infection Prevention: A Prospective Study of Female Sex Workers in Kenya 
Objective. To assess adherence to and acceptability of the diaphragm among 140 female sex workers in Kenya in a 6-month prospective study. Methods. At baseline and bimonthly visits, participants were interviewed on diaphragm knowledge, attitude, and practices. We used principal component analysis and logistic regression to identify predictors of consistent use. Results. At 50% of 386 bimonthly visits, women reported consistently using a diaphragm with all partners during the preceding 2 weeks. Consistent use was significantly higher at the 6-month than the 2-month visit. Women reported less covert use with “helping” (regular sex partners to whom she could go for help or support) than with “other” partners. Perceptions that diaphragms are easier to use than condoms and that their lack of coital interruption is important were associated with consistent diaphragm use with both partner types. Partner support of diaphragm use is correlated with consistent use with “helping” partners only while higher parity, consistent condom use, and perceived lack of need of condoms as a benefit of diaphragms were associated with consistent use with “other” partners. Conclusions. Diaphragm acceptance among female sex workers in Nairobi was high. Future studies should distinguish between partner types when evaluating diaphragm adherence.
PMCID: PMC2833308  PMID: 20224648
21.  A Note on “Malaria at Parturition in Nigeria: Current Status and Delivery Outcome” 
We read the recent article by (Mokuolu et al. 2009) with keen interest and would like to congratulate them for a job well done. However, we would like to raise a few points relating to the limitations of the study.
PMCID: PMC2821757  PMID: 20169143
22.  Epidemiology of HPV in HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Fertile Women in Cameroon, West Africa 
Background. HPV types vary by country and HIV status. There are no data on the prevalent HPV genotypes from Cameroon. Methods. We conducted a cross-sectional, observational study on 65 Cameroonian women. Samples were sent for HPV genotyping and Thin Prep analyses. Results. 41 out of 61 samples tested (67.2%) had HPV subtypes detected. The most common high risk types encountered were: 45 (24.6%) and 58 (21.5%). HIV-positive women were more likely to test positive for any HPV (P = .014), have more than one HPV subtype (P = .003), and to test positive for the high risk subtypes (P = .007). Of those with high risk HPV, HIV-positive women were more likely to have Thin Prep abnormalities than HIV-negative women (P = .013). Conclusions. Oncogenic HPV subtypes 45 and 58 were more prevalent than those subtypes carried in the quadrivalent vaccine. Further studies are needed to assess whether the current vaccine will be effective in this region.
PMCID: PMC2821770  PMID: 20169094
23.  Novel Influenza H1N1 in Pregnancy: A Report of Two Cases 
Background. Pregnant women are a high-risk group for morbidity and mortality from influenza. During the current pandemic of H1N1 influenza, few cases of H1N1 have been reported in pregnancy. Cases. We report two cases of H1N1 influenza which occurred in single institution in the course of one month. The first patient developed acute respiratory distress syndrome, required intubation, and eventually died. The second patient had influenza H1N1 that did not have any major sequela. Conclusion. H1N1 influenza in pregnancy can be associated with severe complications. Widespread vaccination, when available, prompt diagnosis, and adequate treatment with antiviral medications when infection occurs are required.
PMCID: PMC2817864  PMID: 20148081
24.  Human Papillomavirus Type Distribution and Correlation with Cyto-Histological Patterns in Women from the South of Italy 
Human papillomavirus (HPV) type-specific distribution was evaluated in genital samples collected from 654 women from the South of Italy undergoing voluntary screening and correlated with cyto-histological abnormalities. HPV DNA was detected in 45.9% of the samples, 41.7% of which had multiple infection and 89.0% had high-risk HPV infection. The prevalence of HPV infection and the rate of multiple infections decreased with age, suggesting natural selection of HPV types with better fitness. In line with other Italian studies, the most common HPV types were HPV-6 and HPV-16, followed by HPV-51, HPV-31, HPV-53, and HPV-66, in women with both normal and abnormal cytology. Cervical intraepithelial lesions grade 2 or 3 were associated with high-risk HPV-16, HPV-18, HPV-31, and HPV-51 infection. These data indicate that prophylactic HPV vaccination is expected to reduce the burden of HPV-related cervical lesions in this population, but also suggest the potential utility of new vaccines with larger type coverage.
PMCID: PMC2817385  PMID: 20145716
25.  Kinetics and Determining Factors of the Virologic Response to Antiretrovirals during Pregnancy 
HIV-infected pregnant women with undetectable plasma HIV RNA concentrations at delivery pose a minimal risk of vertical transmission. We studied the kinetics and the determinants of the virologic response to antiretroviral therapy in 117 consecutive pregnancies. Patients who initiated therapy during pregnancy had a VL decrease of 2 and 2.5 log10 after 4 and 24 weeks, respectively. Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of the protease inhibitors administered in doses recommended for nonpregnant adults resulted in below-target concentrations in 29%, 35%, and 44% of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester measurements, respectively, but low drug concentrations did not correlate with virologic failure. Demographic characteristics, antiretroviral experience prior to pregnancy, baseline VL, or use of specific antiretrovirals did not affect the virologic response. Adherence to ≥95% of prescribed doses and utilization of psychosocial services were associated with undetectable plasma HIV RNA at delivery. In conclusion, the virologic responses of pregnant and nonpregnant adults share similar charactersitics.
PMCID: PMC2814231  PMID: 20130816

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