Erik van Widenfelt

Harvard University, Boston, MA, United States

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Publications (26)240.89 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Micronutrient deficiencies occur early in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and supplementation with micronutrients may be beneficial; however, its effectiveness has not been investigated early in HIV disease among adults who are antiretroviral therapy (ART) naive. To investigate whether long-term micronutrient supplementation is effective and safe in delaying disease progression when implemented early in adults infected with HIV subtype C who are ART-naive. Randomized clinical trial of supplementation with either daily multivitamins (B vitamins and vitamins C and E), selenium alone, or multivitamins with selenium vs placebo in a factorial design for 24 months. The study was conducted in 878 patients infected with HIV subtype C with a CD4 cell count greater than 350/μL who were not receiving ART at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, Botswana, between December 2004 and July 2009. Daily oral supplements of B vitamins and vitamins C and E, selenium alone, or multivitamins plus selenium, compared with placebo. Reaching a CD4 cell count less than 200/μL until May 2008; after this date, reaching a CD4 cell count of 250/μL or less, consistent with the standard of care in Botswana for initiation of ART at the time of the study. There were 878 participants enrolled and randomized into the study. All participants were ART-naive throughout the study. In intent-to-treat analysis, participants receiving the combined supplement of multivitamins plus selenium had a significantly lower risk vs placebo of reaching CD4 cell count 250/μL or less (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.46; 95% CI, 0.25-0.85; P = .01; absolute event rate [AER], 4.79/100 person-years; censoring rate, 0.92; 17 events; placebo AER, 9.22/100 person-years; censoring rate, 0.85; 32 events). Multivitamins plus selenium in a single supplement, vs placebo, also reduced the risk of secondary events of combined outcomes for disease progression (CD4 cell count ≤250/μL, AIDS-defining conditions, or AIDS-related death, whichever occurred earlier [adjusted HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.33-0.95; P = .03; AER, 6.48/100 person-years; censoring rate, 0.90; 23 events]). There was no effect of supplementation on HIV viral load. Multivitamins alone and selenium supplementation alone were not statistically different from placebo for any end point. Reported adverse events were adjudicated as unlikely to be related to the intervention, and there were no notable differences in incidence of HIV-related and health-related events among study groups. In ART-naive HIV-infected adults, 24-month supplementation with a single supplement containing multivitamins and selenium was safe and significantly reduced the risk of immune decline and morbidity. Micronutrient supplementation may be effective when started in the early stages of HIV disease.
    JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 11/2013; 310(20):2154-63. · 29.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HAART for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT) may impact long-term survival of women and children. Randomized clinical trial. HIV-infected pregnant women with CD4+ cell count at least 200 cells/µl were randomly assigned to abacavir, zidovudine, lamivudine (arm A) or lopinavir–ritonavir, zidovudine–lamivudine (arm B) from week 26 to 34 gestation through planned weaning by 6 months postpartum. Women with baseline CD4+ cell count less than 200 cells/µl received nevirapine–zidovudine–lamivudine indefinitely (Obs arm), as did randomized women later qualifying for treatment. Among 560 randomized and 170 observational women enrolled, there were 14 deaths (1.9%) – one antenatally (Obs), three from delivery to 6 months postpartum (1 arm A, 2 Obs), and 10 from 6 to 24 months postpartum (5 arm A, 3 arm B, 2 Obs). Time to death or CD4+ cell count below 200 cells/µl was shorter in arm A vs. B (P = 0.03). Of the 709 live-born children, 97% breastfed for a median of 5.8 months. Of 37 (5.2%) deaths by 24 months, nine were before breastfeeding initiated (3 arm A, 2 arm B, 4 Obs); six while breastfeeding (1 arm A, 2 arm B, 3 Obs); and 22 after weaning (9 arm A, 11 arm B, 2 Obs). Only eight children (1.1%) were HIV-infected at 24 months (6 arm A, 1 arm B, 1 Obs), all before 6 months. Low MTCT was maintained through extended follow-up in all arms. Disease progression appeared slower after discontinuing protease inhibitor-based HAART, but a concerning number of maternal deaths occurred after stopping either regimen. Strategies to improve maternal and child survival in the postintervention period are required.
    AIDS (London, England) 07/2013; 27(12):1911-20. · 4.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Determining patterns of HIV transmission is increasingly important for the most efficient use of modern prevention interventions. HIV phylogeny can provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying HIV transmission networks in communities. To reconstruct the structure and dynamics of a local HIV/AIDS epidemic, the phylogenetic relatedness of HIV-1 subtype C env sequences obtained from 785 HIV-infected community residents in the northeastern sector of Mochudi, Botswana, during 2010-2013 was estimated. The genotyping coverage was estimated at 44%. Clusters were defined based on relatedness of HIV-1C env sequences and bootstrap support of splits. The overall proportion of clustered HIV-1C env sequences was 19.1% (95% CI 17.5% to 20.8%). The proportion of clustered sequences from Mochudi was significantly higher than the proportion of non-Mochudi sequences that clustered, 27.0% vs. 14.7% (p = 5.8E-12; Fisher exact test). The majority of clustered Mochudi sequences (90.1%; 95% CI 85.1% to 93.6%) were found in the Mochudi-unique clusters. None of the sequences from Mochudi clustered with any of the 1,244 non-Botswana HIV-1C sequences. At least 83 distinct HIV-1C variants, or chains of HIV transmission, in Mochudi were enumerated, and their sequence signatures were reconstructed. Seven of 20 genotyped seroconverters were found in 7 distinct clusters. The study provides essential characteristics of the HIV transmission network in a community in Botswana, suggests the importance of high sampling coverage, and highlights the need for broad HIV genotyping to determine the spread of community-unique and community-mixed viral variants circulating in local epidemics. The proposed methodology of cluster analysis enumerates circulating HIV variants and can work well for surveillance of HIV transmission networks. HIV genotyping at the community level can help to optimize and balance HIV prevention strategies in trials and combined intervention packages.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(12):e80589. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abacavir (ABC) may be associated with a small, increased risk of myocardial infarction in HIV-infected adults, possibly related to cytokine-mediated inflammation. To evaluate the induction of inflammatory cytokine transcription by ABC, we used samples from women randomized to receive zidovudine/lamivudine/ABC (Trizivir) or lopinavir/ritonavir and zidovudine/lamividine (Kaletra/Combivir) from the third trimester through six-months postpartum for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT). Women were matched by CD4 count and baseline HIV RNA. All women attained viral suppression (<50 copies/ml) by the time of sampling. Four cytokines showed a difference in expression between the treatment arms, all in a proinflammatory direction for the ABC arm: CD40LG 1.82-fold, (p=.027); IL-8 3.16-fold (p=.020); LTA 2.82-fold, (p=.008); and CCL5 -1.67-fold, (p=.035). At 12-months postpartum, 6-months after antiretroviral discontinuation, cytokine expression was similar by treatment arm. We conclude that ABC may upregulate proinflammatory cytokines at the transcriptional level in this population.
    Journal of the International AIDS Society 01/2012; 15(2):17393. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two analyses of HIV-1 subtype C Gag quasispecies were performed in a prospective cohort of 42 acutely and recently infected individuals by SGA on viral RNA/proviral DNA templates. First, in vivo Gag substitutions were assessed in relation to the HIV-1C consensus sequence, which revealed that 29.3% of detected amino acid substitutions can be classified as reversions to subtype consensus, 61.3% as forward substitutions from subtype consensus, and 9.3% as polymorphisms not associated with the subtype consensus sequence. Second, the proportion, dynamics, and relationships within individual pools of viral quasispecies were analyzed. Among reverse substitutions, 16.1% were minor, 11.0% transient, 13.6% dominant, and 59.2% fixed. In contrast, 31.6% of forward substitutions were minor, 59.3% transient, 3.8% dominant, and 5.3% fixed. The distinct patterns in the spectrum and dynamics of reverse and forward Gag substitutions suggest that these differences should be considered in HIV-1 evolutionary studies and analyses of viral mutational pathways.
    Virology 12/2011; 421(2):119-28. · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human papillomaviruses (HPV) constitute one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections and are the etiological agents for invasive cervical cancer, the predominant cancer among women in Botswana. However, the prevalence of HPV genotypes in Botswana has yet to be reported. One hundred thirty-nine endocervical swabs were taken at baseline from HIV-1 infected, HSV-2 seropositive women enrolled in a longitudinal cohort study designed to assess the influence of herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) infection on genital tract shedding of HIV-1. Extracted DNA was evaluated for the presence of low-risk and high-risk HPV using the Roche Linear Array. Genotyping identified HPV in 95 of 139 women of which 61/95 were infected with high-risk HPV and 56/95 with low-risk HPV. The median number of genotypes was 2 (IQR: 1-4). The most prevalent HPV genotype in HIV-infected women was HPV 58. Abnormal cervical cytology was detected in 87/127 women and was associated with contemporaneous HPV infection (RR = 1.43, 95% CI: 1.05-1.93; P = 0.02). HPV prevalence was high among HIV-infected women with infection by multiple genotypes being widespread. The associations attributed to specific oncogenic HPV subtypes and cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions presented here provide critical information to inform future vaccine policy within Botswana.
    Journal of Medical Virology 10/2011; 83(10):1689-95. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) are a major component of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) worldwide but they have been associated with mitochondrial toxicities, with one of the most significant being lactic acidosis. In southern Africa, being female and overweight (BMI > 25) as well as receiving d4T and/or ddI-based cART are risk factors for the development of this potentially life-threatening complication. It is challenging in many resource-limited settings to obtain reliable serum lactate measurements while screening for the presence of lactic acidosis. Point-of-care devices, however, are now available that provide simple, accurate measurements of serum lactate levels at relatively low cost. The objective of this study was to assess the agreement of the portable (Accutrend™ handheld) lactate analyzer to the conventional laboratory system for obtaining serum lactate. METHODS: Eighty two "at-risk" cART-treated adults were evaluated, having their lactate levels tested in parallel using both modalities. RESULTS: The mean (range) lactate level for the portable device was 2.28 (0.9-5.0) compared to 1.96 (0.7-5.4) using the conventional method. There was a strong correlation (p<0.05) between the portable device and the conventional means with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.92 [95% CI: 0.88-0.95]. The mean bias was 0.33 [95% CI: -0.39-1.04], with the portable device having slightly higher values. CONCLUSION: The use of a portable lactate device provides an accurate and user-friendly means of screening at-risk patients for the presence of lactic acidosis in resource-limited settings with limited laboratory capacity.
    Journal of Antivirals and Antiretrovirals 10/2011; 3(4):45-48.
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    ABSTRACT: Protease inhibitor (PI)-based highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use in pregnancy has been associated with preterm deliveries in some observational studies. HIV-infected, HAART-naive pregnant women with CD4+ counts ≥200 cells/mm(3) were randomized between 26 and 34 weeks gestation to lopinavir/ritonavir/zidovudine/lamivudine (PI group) or abacavir/zidovudine/lamivudine (NRTI group) in a clinical trial to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. Risk factors for preterm delivery (<37 weeks) and differences by randomization arm were evaluated for live infants by logistic regression. Preterm delivery rates were higher among 267 women in the PI group than 263 women in the NRTI group (21.4% vs 11.8%, P = .003). PI-based HAART was the most significant risk factor for preterm delivery [odds ratio = 2.03, 95% confidence interval 1.26-3.27, P = .004]. Mean change in maternal body mass index (BMI) 1 month after HAART initiation was lower in the PI group (P < .001); however, this was not significantly associated with preterm delivery. Neither infant hospitalizations nor mortality through 6 months of life differed by maternal regimen. PI-based HAART was associated with increased preterm delivery but not increased infant hospitalizations or mortality in a clinical trial setting. The association between PI use and lower increase in BMI in late pregnancy warrants further study.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 08/2011; 204(4):506-14. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Few studies have compared the programmatic effectiveness of the recommended strategies of antenatal highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and zidovudine for prevention of mother-to-child transmission. We prospectively followed infants (93% formula fed) whose mothers who took either HAART (258 infants) or zidovudine (170 infants) during pregnancy in the Botswana national program. Overall, 10 infants (2.5%) acquired HIV--9 infants in the zidovudine group (5.5%, 95% confidence interval: 2.6% to 10.2%) and 1 infant in the HAART group (0.4%, 95% confidence interval: 0.0% to 2.2%). Maternal HAART was associated with decreased prevention of mother-to-child transmission (P = 0.001) and improved HIV-free survival (P = 0.040) compared with zidovudine (with or without single-dose nevirapine) in a programmatic setting.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 07/2011; 58(3):353-7. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The impact of in utero exposure to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on longitudinal growth of HIV-uninfected infants is unknown. The Mashi and Mma Bana PMTCT intervention trials enrolled HIV-infected pregnant women at four sites in Botswana. Breast-fed (BF), HIV-uninfected infants born at 37 weeks or greater were included in this analysis. Weight-for-age (WAZ), length-for-age (LAZ), and weight-for-length (WLZ) z-scores were calculated using World Health Organization Child Growth Standards. Mean z-scores were compared between in utero antiretroviral exposure groups using Student t test, response profiles analysis, and general linear mixed effects modeling. Growth of 619 HAART-exposed and 440 zidovudine-exposed, HIV-uninfected infants was evaluated. Mean birth weights were 3.01 kg for HAART and 3.15 kg for zidovudine-exposed infants (P < 0.001) with lower mean birth WAZ, length-for-age (LAZ), and weight-for-length (WLZ) among HAART-exposed infants (all P < 0.001). HAART-exposed infants had greater improvement in WAZ and weight-for-length (WLZ) from birth through 2 months (P = 0.03, P < 0.001, respectively). The WAZ did not differ between groups from 3 through 6 months (P = 0.26). Length-for-age (LAZ) remained lower in HAART-exposed infants but the incidence of wasting or stunting did not differ between exposure groups. Lower weights in HAART-exposed uninfected infants at birth were rapidly corrected during the first 6 months of life.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 02/2011; 56(2):131-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To address whether sequences of viral gag and env quasispecies collected during the early post-acute period can be utilized to determine multiplicity of transmitted HIV's, recently developed approaches for analysis of viral evolution in acute HIV-1 infection [1,2] were applied. Specifically, phylogenetic reconstruction, inter- and intra-patient distribution of maximum and mean genetic distances, analysis of Poisson fitness, shape of highlighter plots, recombination analysis, and estimation of time to the most recent common ancestor (tMRCA) were utilized for resolving multiplicity of HIV-1 transmission in a set of viral quasispecies collected within 50 days post-seroconversion (p/s) in 25 HIV-infected individuals with estimated time of seroconversion. The decision on multiplicity of HIV infection was made based on the model's fit with, or failure to explain, the observed extent of viral sequence heterogeneity. The initial analysis was based on phylogeny, inter-patient distribution of maximum and mean distances, and Poisson fitness, and was able to resolve multiplicity of HIV transmission in 20 of 25 (80%) cases. Additional analysis involved distribution of individual viral distances, highlighter plots, recombination analysis, and estimation of tMRCA, and resolved 4 of the 5 remaining cases. Overall, transmission of a single viral variant was identified in 16 of 25 (64%) cases, and transmission of multiple variants was evident in 8 of 25 (32%) cases. In one case multiplicity of HIV-1 transmission could not be determined. In primary HIV-1 subtype C infection, samples collected within 50 days p/s and analyzed by a single-genome amplification/sequencing technique can provide reliable identification of transmission multiplicity in 24 of 25 (96%) cases. Observed transmission frequency of a single viral variant and multiple viral variants were within the ranges of 64% to 68%, and 32% to 36%, respectively.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(2):e16714. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is a critical need for effective highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to prevent mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) through breast-feeding in low-resource areas of the world where replacement feeding is not feasible. The most effective HAART regimen to prevent HIV transmission during breast-feeding is unknown. This study compared different HAART regimens to determine whether they differ with respect to virologic suppression during pregnancy and breast-feeding, pregnancy outcomes, and adverse effects in mothers and infants. The participants—560 pregnant HIV-1 infected women with CD4+ cell counts of ≥200—were randomly assigned to receive either a coformulation of abacavir, zidovudine, and lamivudine (the nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor [NRTI] group) or a coformulation of lopinavir-ritonavir plus zidovudine-lamivudine (the protease inhibitor group). Both the regimens were administered between 26 and 34 weeks' gestation and were continued through planned weaning by 6 months postpartum. The observational group—170 women with CD4+ cell counts <200 cells—received standard-of-care treatment (nevirapine plus zidovudine-lamivudine). Infants were given single-dose nevirapine at birth and zidovudine from birth through 4 weeks. There was no significant difference between any of the 3 regimens in the rate of virologic suppression (decrease in plasma HIV-1 RNA level) to less than 400 copies per mL both at delivery (96% in the NRTI group, 93% in the protease inhibitor group, and 94% in the observational group) and throughout the breast-feeding period (92% in the NRTI group, 93% in the protease inhibitor group, and 95% in the observational group). At 6 months, the rates of mother-to-child transmission were low; only 1.1% (8/709) of live-born infants were infected (95% confidence interval, 0.5–2.2). Of the 8 infants infected at 6 months, 6 were infected in utero (4 in the NRTI group, 1 in the protease inhibitor group, and 1 in the observational group) and 2 infants were infected through late breast-feeding transmission (both in the NRTI group). Adverse events required modification of the HAART regimen in 2% of both intervention groups and 11% in the observational group. These findings show that all HAART regimens are highly effective for virologic suppression at delivery and throughout breast-feeding, with an overall rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission of 1.1% at 6 months.
    Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey 10/2010; 65(11):689-691. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The most effective highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to prevent mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in pregnancy and its efficacy during breast-feeding are unknown. We randomly assigned 560 HIV-1-infected pregnant women (CD4+ count, > or = 200 cells per cubic millimeter) to receive coformulated abacavir, zidovudine, and lamivudine (the nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor [NRTI] group) or lopinavir-ritonavir plus zidovudine-lamivudine (the protease-inhibitor group) from 26 to 34 weeks' gestation through planned weaning by 6 months post partum. A total of 170 women with CD4+ counts of less than 200 cells per cubic millimeter received nevirapine plus zidovudine-lamivudine (the observational group). Infants received single-dose nevirapine and 4 weeks of zidovudine. The rate of virologic suppression to less than 400 copies per milliliter was high and did not differ significantly among the three groups at delivery (96% in the NRTI group, 93% in the protease-inhibitor group, and 94% in the observational group) or throughout the breast-feeding period (92% in the NRTI group, 93% in the protease-inhibitor group, and 95% in the observational group). By 6 months of age, 8 of 709 live-born infants (1.1%) were infected (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.5 to 2.2): 6 were infected in utero (4 in the NRTI group, 1 in the protease-inhibitor group, and 1 in the observational group), and 2 were infected during the breast-feeding period (in the NRTI group). Treatment-limiting adverse events occurred in 2% of women in the NRTI group, 2% of women in the protease-inhibitor group, and 11% of women in the observational group. All regimens of HAART from pregnancy through 6 months post partum resulted in high rates of virologic suppression, with an overall rate of mother-to-child transmission of 1.1%. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00270296.)
    New England Journal of Medicine 06/2010; 362(24):2282-94. · 51.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The first aim of the study is to assess the distribution of HIV-1 RNA levels in subtype C infection. Among 4,348 drug-naïve HIV-positive individuals participating in clinical studies in Botswana, the median baseline plasma HIV-1 RNA levels differed between the general population cohorts (4.1-4.2 log(10)) and cART-initiating cohorts (5.1-5.3 log(10)) by about one log(10). The proportion of individuals with high (> or = 50,000 (4.7 log(10)) copies/ml) HIV-1 RNA levels ranged from 24%-28% in the general HIV-positive population cohorts to 65%-83% in cART-initiating cohorts. The second aim is to estimate the proportion of individuals who maintain high HIV-1 RNA levels for an extended time and the duration of this period. For this analysis, we estimate the proportion of individuals who could be identified by repeated 6- vs. 12-month-interval HIV testing, as well as the potential reduction of HIV transmission time that can be achieved by testing and ARV treating. Longitudinal analysis of 42 seroconverters revealed that 33% (95% CI: 20%-50%) of individuals maintain high HIV-1 RNA levels for at least 180 days post seroconversion (p/s) and the median duration of high viral load period was 350 (269; 428) days p/s. We found that it would be possible to identify all HIV-infected individuals with viral load > or = 50,000 (4.7 log(10)) copies/ml using repeated six-month-interval HIV testing. Assuming individuals with high viral load initiate cART after being identified, the period of high transmissibility due to high viral load can potentially be reduced by 77% (95% CI: 71%-82%). Therefore, if HIV-infected individuals maintaining high levels of plasma HIV-1 RNA for extended period of time contribute disproportionally to HIV transmission, a modified "test-and-treat" strategy targeting such individuals by repeated HIV testing (followed by initiation of cART) might be a useful public health strategy for mitigating the HIV epidemic in some communities.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(4):e10148. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Short-course zidovudine (ZDV) with or without a single dose of nevirapine (sdNVP) is widely used to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT). However, more data on viral load in breast milk following pMTCT regimens are needed. In a randomized PMTCT study in Botswana, in which half of the women received sdNVP in labor, stored samples from mothers assigned to breastfeed were analyzed for HIV-1 RNA in breast milk supernatant. A total of 527 samples from 282 women, collected at delivery, 2 weeks, 2 months, and 5 months postpartum were available for testing. Cell-free breast milk HIV-1 RNA was detectable (>40 copies/ml) in 44.8% (236/527) of samples analyzed. Women randomized to sdNVP + ZDV were more likely to have undetectable breast milk viral loads at 2 weeks postpartum compared with those who received ZDV alone (67.8% vs. 38.5%, p = 0.002). By 2 months postpartum the difference between study arms disappeared, and 43.8% of women who received sdNVP + ZDV had undetectable HIV-1 RNA compared to 53.8% of the ZDV alone group (p = 0.19) and 60.5% vs. 64.5%, respectively, at month 5 (p = 0.61.) The addition of sdNVP to antenatal short-course AZT resulted in significantly reduced breast milk viral loads at 2 weeks postpartum suggesting a reduced risk of MTCT during the early postpartum period. However, viral loads in both study arms were comparable at 2 and 5 months postpartum, suggesting that the receipt of sdNVP in labor may defer rather than blunt the postpartum viral load rebound seen in breast milk after the discontinuation of ZDV.
    AIDS research and human retroviruses 12/2009; 25(12):1261-4. · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The safety and efficacy of nevirapine (NVP) and efavirenz (EFV) based highly active antiretroviral treatment (ART) with concurrent anti-tuberculosis treatment in sub-Saharan Africa has not been well established. We performed a retrospective study comparing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected adults exposed and not exposed to tuberculosis (TB) treatment with similar baseline HIV-1 RNA levels who were started on ART as part of Botswana's ART Programme. ART regimens, HIV-1 RNA, CD4+ cell count, and liver function tests were reviewed for 12 months following ART initiation. Among 155 patients on ART only and 155 exposed to TB treatment, there was no difference in virologic or immunologic response throughout the first year of ART. Furthermore, there remained no differences in virologic or immunologic outcomes when NVP and EFV groups were stratified by TB treatment exposure status. While more hepatotoxic events occurred in the group exposed to TB treatment than in those not exposed (9% vs. 3%, P = 0.05), there was no difference between patients treated with NVP and those treated with EFV. Patients co-infected with HIV and TB in Botswana can be treated effectively with either NVP- or EFV-based ART and TB treatment. As hepatotoxic events were more common in the group exposed to TB treatment, liver function tests should be monitored closely.
    The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease: the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 04/2009; 13(3):360-6. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous national antiretroviral (ARV) treatment initiatives offering protease inhibitor-sparing combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) have recently commenced in southern Africa, the first of which began in Botswana in January 2002. Evaluation of the efficacy and tolerability of various protease inhibitor-sparing cART regimens requires intensive study in the region, as does investigation of the development of drug resistance and the optimal means of sustaining adherence. The "Tshepo" Study is the first large-scale, randomized, clinical trial that addresses these important issues among HIV-1 subtype C-infected ARV treatment-naive adults in southern Africa. The Tshepo Study is a completed, open-labeled, randomized study that enrolled 650 ARV-naive adults between December 2002 and 2004. The study is a 3 x 2 x 2 factorial design comparing the efficacy and tolerability among factors: (1) 3 combinations of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs): zidovudine (ZDV) + lamivudine (3TC), ZDV + didanosine (ddI), and stavudine (d4T) + 3TC; (2) 2 different nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs): nevirapine and efavirenz; and (3) 2 different adherence strategies: the current national "standard of care" versus an "intensified adherence strategy" incorporating a "community-based directly observed therapy." Study patients were stratified into 2 balanced CD4 T-cell count groups: less than 201 versus 201-350 cells per cubic millimeter with viral load greater than 55,000 copies per milliliter. Following Data Safety Monitoring Board recommendations in April 2006, ZDV/ddI-containing arms were discontinued due to inferiority in primary end point, namely, virologic failure with resistance. We report both overall data and pooled data from patients receiving ZDV/ddI- versus ZDV/3TC- and d4T/3TC-containing cART through April 1, 2006. Four hundred fifty-one females (69.4%) and 199 males with a median age of 33.3 years were enrolled into the study. The median follow-up as of April 1, 2006, was 104 weeks, and loss to follow-up rate at 2 years was 4.1%. The median baseline CD4 T-cell count was 199 cells per cubic millimeter [interquartile ratio (IQR) 136-252], and the median plasma HIV-1 RNA level was 193,500 copies per milliliter (IQR 69-250, 472-500). The proportion of participants with virologic failure and genotypic resistance mutations was 11% in those receiving ZDV/ddI-based cART versus 2% in those receiving either ZDV/3TC- or d4T/3TC-based cART (P = 0.002). The median CD4 T-cell count increase at 1 year was 137 cells per cubic millimeter (IQR 74-223) and 199 cells per cubic millimeter (IQR 112-322) at 2 years with significantly lower gain in the ZDV/ddI arm. At 1 and 2 years, respectively, 92.0% and 88.8% of patients had an undetectable plasma HIV-1 RNA level (< or = 400 copies/mL). Kaplan-Meier survival estimates at 1 and 2 years were 96.6% and 95.4%. One hundred twenty patients (18.2%) had treatment-modifying toxicities, of which the most common were lipodystrophy, anemia, neutropenia, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome. There was a trend toward difference in time to treatment-modifying toxicity by pooled dual-NRTI combination and no difference in death rates. The preliminary study results show overall excellent efficacy and tolerability of NNRTI-based cART among HIV-1 subtype C-infected adults. ZDV/ddI-containing cART, however, is inferior to the dual NRTIs d4T/3TC or ZDV/3TC when used with an NNRTI for first-line cART.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 03/2009; 51(1):37-46. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aiming to answer the broad question "When does mutation occur?" this study examined the time of appearance, dominance, and completeness of in vivo Gag mutations in primary HIV-1 subtype C infection. A primary HIV-1C infection cohort comprised of 8 acutely and 34 recently infected subjects were followed frequently up to 500 days post-seroconversion (p/s). Gag mutations were analyzed by employing single-genome amplification and direct sequencing. Gag mutations were determined in relation to the estimated time of seroconversion. Time of appearance, dominance, and completeness was compared for different types of in vivo Gag mutations. Reverse mutations to the wild type appeared at a median (IQR) of 62 (44;139) days p/s, while escape mutations from the wild type appeared at 234 (169;326) days p/s (p<0.001). Within the subset of mutations that became dominant, reverse and escape mutations appeared at 54 (30;78) days p/s and 104 (47;198) days p/s, respectively (p<0.001). Among the mutations that reached completeness, reverse and escape mutations appeared at 54 (30;78) days p/s and 90 (44;196) days p/s, respectively (p=0.006). Time of dominance for reverse mutations to and escape mutations from the wild type was 58 (44;105) days p/s and 219 (90;326) days p/s, respectively (p<0.001). Time of completeness for reverse and escape mutations was 152 (100;176) days p/s and 243 (101;370) days p/s, respectively (p=0.001). Fitting a Cox proportional hazards model with frailties confirmed a significantly earlier time of appearance (hazard ratio (HR): 2.6; 95% CI: 2.3-3.0), dominance (4.8 (3.4-6.8)), and completeness (3.6 (2.3-5.5)) of reverse mutations to the wild type Gag than escape mutations from the wild type. Some complex mutational pathways in Gag included sequential series of reversions and escapes. The study identified the timing of different types of in vivo Gag mutations in primary HIV-1 subtype C infection in relation to the estimated time of seroconversion. Overall, the in vivo reverse mutations to the wild type occurred significantly earlier than escape mutations from the wild type. This shorter time to incidence of reverse mutations remained in the subsets of in vivo Gag mutations that reached dominance or completeness.
    PLoS ONE 01/2009; 4(11):e7727. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most knowledge of primary HIV-1 infection is based on subtype B studies, whereas the evolution of viral parameters in the early phase of HIV-1 subtype C infection is not well characterized. The kinetics of viral RNA, proviral DNA, CD4+ T-cell count, and subsets of CD4+ T cells expressing CCR5 or CXCR4 were characterized in 8 acute and 62 recent subtype C infections over the first year postseroconversion. The viral RNA peak was 6.25 +/- 0.92 log10 copies per milliliter. After seroconversion, heterogeneity among acute cases was evident by patterns of change in viral load and CD4+ T-cell count over time. The patterns were supported by the rate of viral RNA decline from peak (P = 0.022), viral RNA means (P = 0.005), CD4 levels (P < 0.001), and CD4 decline to 350 (P = 0.011) or 200 (P = 0.046). Proviral DNA had no apparent peak and its mean was 2.59 +/- 0.69 log10 per 106 peripheral blood mononuclear cell. In recent infections, viral RNA set point was 4.00 +/- 0.97 log10 and viral RNA correlated inversely with CD4+ T cells (P < 0.001) and directly with proviral DNA (P < 0.001). Distinct patterns of viral RNA evolution may exist shortly after seroconversion in HIV-1 subtype C infection. The study provides better understanding of the early phase of subtype C infection.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 01/2009; 50(1):65-76. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Poster presentation
    Retrovirology 01/2009; · 5.66 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

779 Citations
235 Downloads
2k Views
240.89 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2012
    • Harvard University
      • Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
      Boston, MA, United States
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      • Division of Infectious Diseases
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2006–2012
    • Harvard Medical School
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2011
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • Division of Infectious Diseases
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2010
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
      • Division of Infectious Diseases
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2008–2010
    • Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute
      Gaberones, South East, Botswana
  • 2009
    • University of Botswana
      • Department of Biological Sciences
      Gaborone, South East District, Botswana