Immunologic risk factors for early mortality after starting antiretroviral therapy in HIV-Infected Zambian children

Kaitlin Rainwater-Lovett, Hope C. Nkamba, Mwangelwa Mubiana-Mbewe, Carolyn Bolton Moore, William J. Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To explore immunologic risk factors for death within 90 days of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) initiation, CD4+ and CD8 + T cell subsets were measured by flow cytometry and characterized by logistic regression in 149 Zambian children between 9 months and 10 years of age enrolled in a prospective, observational study of the impact of HAART on measles immunity. Of 21 children who died during follow-up, 17 (81%) had known dates of death and 16 (76%) died within 90 days of initiating HAART. Young age and low weight-for-Age z-scores were associated with increased risks of mortality within 90 days of starting HAART, whereas CD4+ T cell percentage was not associated with mortality. After adjusting for these factors, each 10% increase in CD8+ effector T cells increased the odds of overall mortality [OR=1.43 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.90)] and was marginally associated with early mortality [OR=1.29 (95% CI: 0.97, 1.72)]. Conversely, each 10% increase in CD4+ central memory T cells decreased the odds of overall [OR=0.06 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.59)] and early mortality [OR=0.09 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.97)]. Logistic regression prediction models demonstrated areas under the receiver-operator characteristic curves of ≥85% for early and overall mortality, with bootstrapped sensitivities of 82-85% upon validation, supporting the predictive accuracy of the models. CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets may be more accurate predictors of early mortality than CD4 + T cell percentages and could be used to identify children who would benefit from more frequent clinical monitoring after initiating HAART.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-487
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS research and human retroviruses
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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