Virus levels in untreated African infants infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1

Robert J. Biggar, Michelle Janes, Richard Pilon, Paolo Miotti, Taha E.T. Taha, Robin Broadhead, Laban Mtimivalye, Newton Kumwenda, Sharon Cassol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In developed areas, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected infants have high virus levels and rapidly progress to death. HIV levels were assessed in 1994-1997 in untreated infants in Malawi by analysis of dried blood spots tested by nucleic acid silica-bound amplification. Of 24 umbilical cord blood (CB)-positive samples, 83% had >10,000 copies/mL. The median virus level was 78,000 copies/mL. First positive sample median levels were 355,000 copies/mL among 52 perinatally infected infants and 130,000 copies/mL among 43 infants infected by breast-feeding. Virus levels were stable, and initial levels predicted levels 1 year after infection (P = .005), at which time levels did not significantly differ among in utero, perinatally, or postnatally infected infants. Thus, neither age at infection nor route of infection significantly influenced HIV levels measured 1 year after infection. Most (87%) CB-positive infants were infected before labor onset, since virus levels greatly exceeded those expected in their mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1838-1843
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume180
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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