[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand the natural history of HIV-1 infection in children in terms of evolution of childhood clinical manifestations versus the immune status, we prospectively studied children with and without maternally transmitted HIV-1 infection born to mothers infected with HIV-1 for two years between March 1998 and March 2000.
A prospective cohort study.
An institutional children's home.
Fifty nine children (26 males and 33 females) with and without maternally transmitted HIV-1 infection born to mothers infected with HIV-1 and adopted in institutional children home.
HIV-1 status of children under nine months was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction(PCR). ELISA for HIV-1 antibody in serum/plasma was used to confirm HIV-infection status for children aged < or = 18 months. Children were visited every three months between March and June 2000. At every visit blood was collected for total white cell count, haemoglobin and CD4+ and CD8+ T cell counts. The institutional doctor routinely examined children and treated all ailments. Clinical data were recorded.
HIV-DNA, anti-HIV antibodies, total white blood count, total T cell counts, CD4 and CD8 T cell subset counts, frequency of childhood manifestations of infection.
The children were aged between 4.5 and 13 years. The baseline haematological and immunological profiles (mean, mode) were: HIV-1 sero-converters (WBC 7151,7150; HB 11.6, 12.0; CD4+ 686, 795; CD8+ 2168, 1507) and HIV-1 de-seroconverters (mean, mode) were: (WBC 8386, 7150; HB 11.7, 12.8; CD4+ 735, 795; CD8+ 2168, 1507). The commonest causes of illnesses among the HIV-1 children were URTI (85.3%), TB(56.1 %), pneumonia (56.2%), tonsillitis (34.1%), parotiditis (28%) and acute otitis media (25%). The distribution of clinical manifestations was similar between the two categories of children, except URTI, whose prevalence was significantly increased among HIV-1 infected children (p-value=0.006). Among the HIV-1 infected children, only TB, parotiditis, and acute otitis media (AOM) were significantly associated with decreased CD4+ T cell count (p<0.05) resulting from HIV infection.
HIV infection in children predisposes them to common childhood infections that can be used as markers of immune decline. TB, AOM, URTI may be early indicators of suspicion that would enable selective screening for HIV infection in children.
East African medical journal 02/2003; 80(2):95-100. DOI:10.4314/eamj.v80i2.8653
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the effects of short-course nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (Zidovudine, ZDW/AZT) on maternal immune responses and risk of infant infection with HIV-1 among rural-based mothers in western Kenya.
A prospective cohort study involving HIV-1 seropositive pregnant mothers and their infants.
One hundred and seven HIV-1 seropositive asymptomatic pregnant women and their infants.
After informed consent, the women were enrolled at gestation age between 16-24 weeks. For cultural and economic reasons, all mothers were allowed to breast feed their infants. Short-course antepartum regime of AZT was administered to all mothers starting at 36 weeks gestation until start of labour. Maternal absolute CD4+ T cell subset assays were performed before 3rd trimester (about 36 weeks gestation) and after a 4-week therapy of AZT (at least one month post-nuptially). Infant HIV-1 status was determined by HIV-1 DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on samples sequentially taken at 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 9 months and confirmed by serology at 18 months of age.
Antepartum short-course orally administered AZT: 300mg twice-daily starting at 36 weeks gestation until start of labour, 300mg at labour onset and 300mg every three hours during labour until delivery.
Maternal CD4+ T cell counts before and after AZT treatment. Determination of infant HIV-1 infection status.
Among 107 women sampled, only 59 received full dose of AZT and thus qualified for present analysis. Of these, 12 infected their children with HIV, while 47 did not. Comparison of CD4+ T cells before and after AZT treatment scored a significant rise in all mothers (P = 0.01). This increase in CD4+ T cells was not significant among mothers who infected their infants with HIV-1 (P = 0.474). However, a significant rise in CD4+ T cells following AZT therapy was observed only in mothers who did not transmit HIV-1 to their infants (P=0.014).
These data suggest that a rise in the CD4+ T cell counts following short AZT regimen, now widely in use in resource-weak countries, may be evidence of the active suppression of the replication of HIV. However, further studies to examine the multi-factorial effect of CD4+ lymphocytes and pregnancy on MTCT of HIV need to be carried out to help fully explain the effect of AZT on immune response and whether the CD4+T cell count can be used as a true test of immunological normalisation during antiretroviral therapy.
East African medical journal 12/2002; 79(11):567-73. DOI:10.4314/eamj.v79i11.8800