Epidemiology and microbiology of subclinical mastitis among HIV-infected women in Malawi

V. Nussenblatt, V. Lema, N. Kumwenda, R. Broadhead, M. C. Neville, T. E. Taha, Richard D. Semba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The epidemiology and microbiology of subclinical mastitis, a risk factor for perinatal HIV transmission, have not been well characterized. In all, 250 HIV-infected women were followed from two weeks to 12 months postpartum in Blantyre, Malawi, and subclinical mastitis was assessed by breast milk leukocyte counts. The point prevalence of subclinical mastitis at 2, 4, 6,10, and 14 weeks, and 6, 9, and 12 months was 12.2%, 7.8%, 6.8%, 3.7%, 10.6%, 5.1%, 4.9%, and 1.9%, respectively (P = 0.002), and 27.2% of women had at least one episode of subclinical mastitis. There was no significant relationship between maternal plasma HIV load or parity and subclinical mastitis. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated in 30% of women with subclinical mastitis, and the proportion of women with positive cultures decreased during follow-up (P = 0.02). Subclinical mastitis is prevalent among breastfeeding mothers and further studies are needed to characterize the differences between infectious and non-infectious subclinical mastitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Epidemiology
  • HIV
  • Microbiology
  • Micronutrients
  • Subclinical mastitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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