Publications by authors named "Roger L Shapiro"

67 Publications

Patterns of pre-treatment drug resistance mutations of very early diagnosed and treated infants in botswana.

AIDS 2021 Sep 14. Epub 2021 Sep 14.

Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone Botswana Division of Medical Virology, Stellenbosch University Tygerberg, Cape Town, South Africa Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA Division of Infectious Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, USA Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA02115, USA. Contributed equally. Contributed equally.

Objective: To describe the occurrence of HIV drug resistance mutations (DRMs) in both intact and defective HIV-1 cell-associated DNA (HIV-1 CAD) among early-treated infants.

Design: The Botswana EIT Study (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02369406) initiated ART in the first week of life and evaluated HIV-1 in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).

Methodology: We analyzed 257 near HIV-1 full-length sequences (nFLS) obtained by Illumina next-generation sequencing from infants near birth. Sanger sequencing of pol was performed for mothers at delivery and children with clinical failure through 96 weeks. DRMs were identified using the Stanford HIV Drug Resistance Database.

Results: In 27 infants, median PBMC HIV-1 proviral load was 492 copies/mL [IQR: 78, 1246 copies/mL] at a median of 2 days (range 1, 32); 18 (66.7%) had no DRMs detected; 6 (22.2%) had DRMs detected in defective DNA only, and 3 (11.1%) had DRMs in both defective and intact DNA (p = 0.09). A total of 60/151 (37.7%) defective sequences had at least one DRM: 31.8% NNRTI, 15.2% NRTI, 5.3% PI and 15.5% INSTI associated mutations. In intact sequences, 33/106 (31.1%) had at least 1 DRM: 29.2% NNRTI, 7.5% NRTI, 0.9% PI and 0 INSTI associated mutations. For all 3 infants with intact sequence DRMs, corresponding DRMs occurred in maternal plasma at delivery. Archived DRMs were detectable at a later clinical rebound on only one occasion.

Conclusion: Defective HIV-1 cell-associated DNA sequences may overestimate the prevalence of drug resistance among early-treated children. The impact of DRMs from intact proviruses on long-term treatment outcomes warrants further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000003041DOI Listing
September 2021

Maternal weight and birth outcomes among women on antiretroviral treatment from conception in a birth surveillance study in Botswana.

J Int AIDS Soc 2021 06;24(6):e25763

Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana.

Introduction: Antiretrovirals such as dolutegravir (DTG) and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) have been associated with excessive weight gain. The objective of this study was to understand the potential impact of ART-associated weight gain on pregnancy outcomes among women living with HIV.

Methods: Using data from the Tsepamo birth outcomes surveillance study in Botswana, we evaluated the relationship between maternal weight (and weight gain) and severe birth outcomes (very preterm delivery <32 weeks, very small for gestational age (SGA) <3rd percentile, perinatal death), macrosomia (birthweight > 4000 g) and maternal hypertension. We estimated the relative risk of each outcome by baseline weight (first weight in pregnancy <24 weeks) and second trimester average weekly weight gain (kg/week from 12 ± 2 to 24 ± 2 weeks) using log binomial regression and evaluated effect modification by ART regimen (DTG vs. Efavirenz (EFV)).

Results: Of 22,828 women on ART at conception with singleton deliveries between August 2014 and April 2020, 16,300 (71.4%) had a weight measured <24 weeks' gestation (baseline weight) and 4437 (19.2%) had weight measured both at 12 (±2) weeks and 24 (±2) weeks, allowing second trimester weight gain calculation. Compared to women with baseline weight 60 to 70 kg, low baseline weight (<50 kg) was associated with increased risk of very preterm delivery (aRR 1.30, 95% CI 1.03, 1.65) and very SGA (aRR1.96, 95% CI 1.69, 2.28). High baseline weight (>90 kg) was associated with increased risk of macrosomia (aRR 3.24, 95% CI 2.36, 4.44) and maternal hypertension (aRR 1.79, 95% CI 1.62, 1.97). Baseline weight was not associated with stillbirth or early neonatal death. For all outcomes, second trimester weight gain showed weaker associations than did baseline weight. Duration of pre-pregnancy ART (years) was associated with higher baseline weight for DTG but not for EFV, and the risk of maternal hypertension by baseline weight category was higher for DTG than EFV for all strata.

Conclusions: ART regimens associated with weight gain may reduce the number of women at risk for certain severe adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with low weight but increase the number at risk of macrosomia and maternal hypertension. Further research could determine whether weight-based ART treatment strategies improve maternal and child health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jia2.25763DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8236225PMC
June 2021

Factors Associated with Infant Feeding Choices Among Women with HIV in Botswana.

Matern Child Health J 2021 Sep 5;25(9):1376-1391. Epub 2021 May 5.

Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana.

Introduction: In resource-constrained settings, infant feeding decisions among women with HIV (WHIV) must balance the risk of infant HIV acquisition from breastfeeding with increased mortality associated with formula feeding. WHO guidelines recommend countries principally promote a single feeding method for WHIV, either breastfeeding or formula feeding. In 2016, Botswana revised its policy of formula feeding for infants born to WHIV, instead promoting exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life.

Methods: We sought to understand factors influencing infant feeding choices among WHIV by administering a questionnaire to pregnant and postpartum WHIV (2013-2015) participating in a clinical trial in Botswana (the Mpepu Study). Logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with infant feeding choices.

Results: Of 810 surveyed participants, 24.0% chose breastfeeding and 76.0% chose formula feeding. Women were more likely to choose formula feeding if advised by a health worker to formula feed (aOR 1.90; 95% CI 1.02-3.57) or if they harboured doubts about the potency of antiretroviral treatment (ART) to prevent infant HIV acquisition (aOR 9.06; 95% CI 4.78-17.17). Women who reported lack of confidence in preparing infant formula safely (aOR 0.09; 95% CI 0.04-0.19) or low concerns about infant HIV acquisition (aOR 0.35; 95% CI 0.22-0.55) were significantly less likely to formula feed.

Discussion: Perceptions about ART effectiveness, social circumstances and health worker recommendations were key influencers of infant feeding choices among WHIV. Health system factors and maternal education interventions represent ideal targets for any programmatic actions aiming to shape informed decision-making towards HIV-free survival of infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10995-021-03155-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8355043PMC
September 2021

Efficacy and safety of dolutegravir with emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, and efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate HIV antiretroviral therapy regimens started in pregnancy (IMPAACT 2010/VESTED): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, controlled, phase 3 trial.

Lancet 2021 04;397(10281):1276-1292

Division of Global Women's Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; UNC Project Malawi, Lilongwe, Malawi.

Background: Antiretroviral therapy (ART) during pregnancy is important for both maternal health and prevention of perinatal HIV-1 transmission; however adequate data on the safety and efficacy of different ART regimens that are likely to be used by pregnant women are scarce. In this trial we compared the safety and efficacy of three antiretroviral regimens started in pregnancy: dolutegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate; dolutegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate; and efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.

Methods: This multicentre, open-label, randomised controlled, phase 3 trial was done at 22 clinical research sites in nine countries (Botswana, Brazil, India, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, the USA, and Zimbabwe). Pregnant women (aged ≥18 years) with confirmed HIV-1 infection and at 14-28 weeks' gestation were eligible. Women who had previously taken antiretrovirals in the past were excluded (up to 14 days of ART during the current pregnancy was permitted), as were women known to be pregnant with multiple fetuses, or those with known fetal anomaly or a history of psychiatric illness. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1:1) using a central computerised randomisation system. Randomisation was done using permuted blocks (size six) stratified by gestational age (14-18, 19-23, and 24-28 weeks' gestation) and country. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either once-daily oral dolutegravir 50 mg, and once-daily oral fixed-dose combination emtricitabine 200 mg and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate 25 mg; once-daily oral dolutegravir 50 mg, and once-daily oral fixed-dose combination emtricitabine 200 mg and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg; or once-daily oral fixed-dose combination of efavirenz 600 mg, emtricitabine 200 mg, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg. The primary efficacy outcome was the proportion of participants with viral suppression, defined as an HIV-1 RNA concentration of less than 200 copies per mL, at or within 14 days of delivery, assessed in all participants with an HIV-1 RNA result available from the delivery visit, with a prespecified non-inferiority margin of -10% in the combined dolutegravir-containing groups versus the efavirenz-containing group (superiority was tested in a pre-planned secondary analysis). Primary safety outcomes, compared pairwise among treatment groups, were the occurrence of a composite adverse pregnancy outcome (ie, either preterm delivery, the infant being born small for gestational age, stillbirth, or spontaneous abortion) in all participants with a pregnancy outcome, and the occurrence of grade 3 or higher maternal and infant adverse events in all randomised participants. This trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03048422.

Findings: Between Jan 19, 2018, and Feb 8, 2019, we enrolled and randomly assigned 643 pregnant women: 217 to the dolutegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate group, 215 to the dolutegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate group, and 211 to the efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate group. At enrolment, median gestational age was 21·9 weeks (IQR 18·3-25·3), the median HIV-1 RNA concentration among participants was 902·5 copies per mL (152·0-5182·5; 181 [28%] of 643 participants had HIV-1 RNA concentrations of <200 copies per mL), and the median CD4 count was 466 cells per μL (308-624). HIV-1 RNA concentrations at delivery were available for 605 (94%) participants. Of these, 395 (98%) of 405 participants in the combined dolutegravir-containing groups had viral suppression at delivery compared with 182 (91%) of 200 participants in the efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate group (estimated difference 6·5% [95% CI 2·0 to 10·7], p=0·0052; excluding the non-inferiority margin of -10%). Significantly fewer participants in the dolutegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate group (52 [24%] of 216) had a composite adverse pregnancy outcome than those in the dolutegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate group (70 [33%] of 213; estimated difference -8·8% [95% CI -17·3 to -0·3], p=0·043) or the efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate group (69 [33%] of 211; -8·6% [-17·1 to -0·1], p=0·047). The proportion of participants or infants with grade 3 or higher adverse events did not differ among the three groups. The proportion of participants who had a preterm delivery was significantly lower in the dolutegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate group (12 [6%] of 208) than in the efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate group (25 [12%] of 207; -6·3% [-11·8 to -0·9], p=0·023). Neonatal mortality was significantly higher in the efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate group (ten [5%] of 207 infants) than in the dolutegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate group (two [1%] of 208; p=0·019) or the dolutegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate group (three [2%] of 202; p=0·050).

Interpretation: When started in pregnancy, dolutegravir-containing regimens had superior virological efficacy at delivery compared with the efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate regimen. The dolutegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate regimen had the lowest frequency of composite adverse pregnancy outcomes and of neonatal deaths.

Funding: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institute of Mental Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00314-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8132194PMC
April 2021

Limited surface examination to evaluate potential teratogens in a resource-limited setting.

Birth Defects Res 2021 05 28;113(9):702-707. Epub 2021 Mar 28.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: To determine the frequency of malformations that would be identified in the limited surface examination of a newborn by the delivering nurse midwife in a resource-limited setting.

Methods: The limited surface examination will identify visible external anomalies, but not abnormalities inside the mouth, most heart defects, undescended testes, inguinal hernias, hip dysplasia, peripheral vascular anomalies, and some internal anomalies. The findings in a malformations surveillance program, involving 289,365 births in Boston, have been used to establish the prevalence rate of malformations that would be identified and not identified. In African countries, the number of anomalies to be identified should also be reduced by excluding polydactyly, postaxial, type B, a common minor finding, from the list of potential malformations.

Results: Of note, 2.05% (n = 5,941) of the 289,365 births surveyed had one or more malformations. The abnormalities that would have been missed, using surface exam alone, accounted for 0.5% of all of malformations identified and reduced the overall prevalence rate of malformations to 1.5%. In addition, excluding all infants with isolated postaxial polydactyly, type B reduced the expected prevalence rate of malformations to 1.3% in unexposed newborn infants.

Conclusion: A limited surface examination can detect the majority of malformations among newborn infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bdr2.1887DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8148051PMC
May 2021

Immunogenicity of the Ad26.COV2.S Vaccine for COVID-19.

JAMA 2021 04;325(15):1535-1544

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Control of the global COVID-19 pandemic will require the development and deployment of safe and effective vaccines.

Objective: To evaluate the immunogenicity of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) in humans, including the kinetics, magnitude, and phenotype of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific humoral and cellular immune responses.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Twenty-five participants were enrolled from July 29, 2020, to August 7, 2020, and the follow-up for this day 71 interim analysis was completed on October 3, 2020; follow-up to assess durability will continue for 2 years. This study was conducted at a single clinical site in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1 clinical trial of Ad26.COV2.S.

Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive 1 or 2 intramuscular injections with 5 × 1010 viral particles or 1 × 1011 viral particles of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine or placebo administered on day 1 and day 57 (5 participants in each group).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Humoral immune responses included binding and neutralizing antibody responses at multiple time points following immunization. Cellular immune responses included immunospot-based and intracellular cytokine staining assays to measure T-cell responses.

Results: Twenty-five participants were randomized (median age, 42; age range, 22-52; 52% women, 44% male, 4% undifferentiated), and all completed the trial through the day 71 interim end point. Binding and neutralizing antibodies emerged rapidly by day 8 after initial immunization in 90% and 25% of vaccine recipients, respectively. By day 57, binding and neutralizing antibodies were detected in 100% of vaccine recipients after a single immunization. On day 71, the geometric mean titers of spike-specific binding antibodies were 2432 to 5729 and the geometric mean titers of neutralizing antibodies were 242 to 449 in the vaccinated groups. A variety of antibody subclasses, Fc receptor binding properties, and antiviral functions were induced. CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses were induced.

Conclusion And Relevance: In this phase 1 study, a single immunization with Ad26.COV2.S induced rapid binding and neutralization antibody responses as well as cellular immune responses. Two phase 3 clinical trials are currently underway to determine the efficacy of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04436276.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2021.3645DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7953339PMC
April 2021

Viral Reservoir in Early-Treated Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Children and Markers for Sustained Viral Suppression.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 08;73(4):e997-e1003

Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana.

Background: The impact of very early infant treatment on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reservoir, and markers for treatment success, require study.

Methods: The Early Infant Treatment Study (EIT) enrolled 40 children living with HIV started on antiretroviral treatment (ART) at <7 days of age, with 23 who had started treatment between 30-365 days to serve as controls. Quantitative HIV DNA was evaluated every 1-3 months in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. 84-week repeat qualitative whole blood DNA polymerase chain reaction and dual enzyme immunosorbent assay were performed.

Results: Median quantitative cell-associated DNA after at least 84 weeks was significantly lower among the first 27 EIT children tested than among 10 controls (40.8 vs 981.4 copies/million cells; P < .001) and correlated with pre-ART DNA. Median DNA after 84 weeks did not differ significantly by negative or positive serostatus at 84 weeks (P = .94), and appeared unaffected by periods of unsuppressed plasma RNA from 24-84 weeks (P = .70). However, negative 84-week serostatus was 67% predictive for sustained RNA suppression, and positive serostatus was 100% predictive for viremia. Loss of qualitative DNA positivity at 84 weeks was 73% predictive for sustained suppression, and persistent positivity was 77% predictive for viremia.

Conclusions: Lower viral reservoir was associated with starting ART at <1 week. Negative serostatus and qualitative DNA were useful markers of sustained viral suppression from 24-84 weeks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciab143DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8366827PMC
August 2021

Population uptake of HIV testing, treatment, viral suppression, and male circumcision following a community-based intervention in Botswana (Ya Tsie/BCPP): a cluster-randomised trial.

Lancet HIV 2020 06;7(6):e422-e433

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana.

Background: In settings with high HIV prevalence and treatment coverage, such as Botswana, it is unknown whether uptake of HIV prevention and treatment interventions can be increased further. We sought to determine whether a community-based intervention to identify and rapidly treat people living with HIV, and support male circumcision could increase population levels of HIV diagnosis, treatment, viral suppression, and male circumcision in Botswana.

Methods: The Ya Tsie Botswana Combination Prevention Project study was a pair-matched cluster-randomised trial done in 30 communities across Botswana done from Oct 30, 2013, to June 30, 2018. 15 communities were randomly assigned to receive HIV prevention and treatment interventions, including enhanced HIV testing, earlier antiretroviral therapy (ART), and strengthened male circumcision services, and 15 received standard of care. The first primary endpoint of HIV incidence has already been reported. In this Article, we report findings for the second primary endpoint of population uptake of HIV prevention services, as measured by proportion of people known to be HIV-positive or tested HIV-negative in the preceding 12 months; proportion of people living with HIV diagnosed and on ART; proportion of people living with HIV on ART with viral suppression; and proportion of HIV-negative men circumcised. A longitudinal cohort of residents aged 16-64 years from a random, approximately 20% sample of households across the 15 communities was enrolled to assess baseline uptake of study outcomes; we also administered an end-of-study survey to all residents not previously enrolled in the longitudinal cohort to provide study end coverage estimates. Differences in intervention uptake over time by randomisation group were tested via paired Student's t test. The study has been completed and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01965470).

Findings: In the six communities participating in the end-of-study survey, 2625 residents (n=1304 from standard-of-care communities, n=1321 from intervention communities) were enrolled into the 20% longitudinal cohort at baseline from Oct 30, 2013, to Nov 24, 2015. In the same communities, 10 791 (86%) of 12 489 eligible enumerated residents not previously enrolled in the longitudinal cohort participated in the end-of-study survey from March 30, 2017, to Feb 25, 2018 (5896 in intervention and 4895 in standard-of-care communities). At study end, in intervention communities, 1228 people living with HIV (91% of 1353) were on ART; 1166 people living with HIV (88% of 1321 with available viral load) were virally suppressed, and 673 HIV-negative men (40% of 1673) were circumcised in intervention communities. After accounting for baseline differences, at study end the proportion of people living with HIV who were diagnosed was significantly higher in intervention communities (absolute increase of 9% to 93%) compared with standard-of-care communities (absolute increase of 2% to 88%; prevalence ratio [PR] 1·08 [95% CI 1·02-1·14], p=0·032). Population levels of ART, viral suppression, and male circumcision increased from baseline in both groups, with greater increases in intervention communities (ART PR 1·12 [95% CI 1·07-1·17], p=0·018; viral suppression 1·13 [1·09-1·17], p=0·017; male circumcision 1·26 [1·17-1·35], p=0·029).

Interpretation: It is possible to achieve very high population levels of HIV testing and treatment in a high-prevalence setting. Maintaining these coverage levels over the next decade could substantially reduce HIV transmission and potentially eliminate the epidemic in these areas.

Funding: US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3018(20)30103-XDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7864245PMC
June 2020

HIV diagnostic algorithm requires confirmatory testing for initial indeterminate or positive screens in the first week of life.

AIDS 2020 06;34(7):1029-1035

Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana.

Background: Risk for nondiagnostic and false-positive HIV testing has not been quantified for neonates.

Methods: From April 2015 to July 2018, we screened HIV-exposed infants in Botswana less than 96 h from birth by qualitative DNA PCR. Repeat blood draws for DNA and RNA PCR testing occurred for initial positive and indeterminate results to establish final diagnosis. We compared screening DNA PCR cycle threshold values with final HIV status of the child.

Results: Of 10 622 HIV-exposed infants, 10 549 (99.3%) had no HIV DNA detected (negative), 42 (0.4%) had HIV DNA detected (positive), and 31 (0.3%) tested indeterminate at first HIV screen. Repeat testing identified 2 (5.0%) of 40 positive screens (2 declined additional testing) as false positives and confirmed 2 (6.5%) of 31 indeterminate screens as infected. Median cycle threshold value at screening was 28.1 (IQR 19.8--34.8) for children with final positive status, and 35.5 (IQR 32.8--41.4) for indeterminates who were ultimately negative. Six (15%) of 40 infants with final positive status had cycle threshold value greater than 33 at first screen, whereas 3 (9.7%) of 31 indeterminates with final negative status had cycle threshold value 33 or less at first screen. This threshold resulted in a negative predictive value of 82% and a positive predictive value of 92% for a single screen.

Conclusion: Although a DNA PCR cycle threshold value of 33 was predictive of the final HIV status in newborns, overlap occurred for true positives, false positives, and initial indeterminates. Testing additional samples should be standard practice for positive and indeterminate HIV DNA PCR tests in the first week of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000002532DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7773540PMC
June 2020

Drug resistance after cessation of efavirenz-based antiretroviral treatment started in pregnancy.

South Afr J HIV Med 2020 27;21(1):1023. Epub 2020 Jan 27.

Botswana Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health AIDS Initiative Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana.

Background: To reduce risk of antiretroviral resistance when stopping efavirenz (EFV)-based antiretroviral treatment (ART), staggered discontinuation of antiretrovirals (an NRTI tail) is recommended. However, no data directly support this recommendation.

Objectives: We evaluated the prevalence of HIV drug resistance mutations in pregnant women living with HIV who stopped efavirenz (EFV)/emtricitabine (FTC)/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) postpartum.

Method: In accordance with the prevailing Botswana HIV guidelines at the time, women with pre-treatment CD4 > 350 cells/mm, initiated EFV/FTC/TDF in pregnancy and stopped ART at 6 weeks postpartum if formula feeding, or 6 weeks after weaning. A 7-day tail of FTC/TDF was recommended per Botswana guidelines. HIV-1 RNA and genotypic resistance testing (bulk sequencing) were performed on samples obtained 4-6 weeks after stopping EFV. Stanford HIV Drug Resistance Database was used to identify major mutations.

Results: From April 2014 to May 2015, 74 women who had stopped EFV/FTC/TDF enrolled, with median nadir CD4 of 571 cells/mm. The median time from cessation of EFV to sample draw for genotyping was 5 weeks (range: 3-13 weeks). Thirty-two (43%) women received a 1-week tail of FTC/TDF after stopping EFV. HIV-1 RNA was available from delivery in 70 (95%) women, 58 (83%) of whom had undetectable delivery HIV-1 RNA (< 40 copies/mL). HIV-1 RNA was available for 71 women at the time of genotyping, 45 (63%) of whom had HIV-1 RNA < 40 copies/mL. Thirty-five (47%) of 74 samples yielded a genotype result, and four (11%) had a major drug resistance mutation: two with K103N and two with V106M. All four resistance mutations occurred among women who did not receive an FTC/TDF tail (4/42, 10%), whereas no mutations occurred among 18 genotyped women who had received a 1-week FTC/TDF tail ( = 0.053).

Conclusions: Viral rebound was slow following cessation of EFV/FTC/TDF in the postpartum period. Use of an FTC/TDF tail after stopping EFV was associated with the lower prevalence of subsequent NNRTI drug resistance mutation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v21i1.1023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7059240PMC
January 2020

Safety and Efficacy of Starting Antiretroviral Therapy in the First Week of Life.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 02;72(3):388-393

Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, LLC, Gaborone, Botswana.

Background: Early antiretroviral therapy (ART) is recommended for infants with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. However, few antiretroviral options are available for neonates.

Methods: The Early Infant Treatment Study in Botswana tested HIV-exposed infants within 96 hours of birth, and HIV-infected infants started nevirapine (NVP) 6 mg/kg twice daily, zidovudine (ZDV), and lamivudine (3TC) at age < 7 days. NVP trough concentrations were tested at 1 and 2 weeks. NVP was switched to ritonavir-boosted lopinavir (LPV/r) at week 2, 3, 4, or 5 according to delivery gestational age.

Results: Forty HIV-infected infants started ART at median age 2 days (range, 1-5 days). NVP trough concentrations were highly variable and below therapeutic target (3000 ng/mL) for 50% of 2-week measurements; concentrations did not correlate with viral decline at weeks 2, 4, or 12. Two deaths unrelated to ART occurred through 24 weeks. Only 1 unscheduled treatment modification was required. Within 4 weeks of transition to LPV/r, 9 (22.5%) had transient HIV RNA increases, likely due to poor LPV/r palatability. At 12 weeks, 22 (55%) of 40 were <40 copies/mL (93% <400 copies/mL); by 24 weeks, 27 of 38 (71%) were < 40 copies/mL (84% < 400 copies/mL). HIV-1 RNA response at 12 and 24 weeks did not differ by baseline HIV RNA or other factors.

Conclusions: NVP/ZDV/3TC started in the first week of life was safe and effective, even when trough NVP levels were below target. Transient viral increases occurred following transition to LPV/r, but by 12 and 24 weeks most children achieved and maintained viral suppression.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02369406.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7850532PMC
February 2021

Comparison of guidelines for HIV viral load monitoring among pregnant and breastfeeding women in sub-Saharan Africa.

AIDS 2020 02;34(2):311-315

Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Public Health & Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Background: Intensified viral load monitoring for pregnant and breastfeeding women has been proposed to help address concerns around antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, viraemia and transmission risk, but there have been no systematic evaluations of existing policies.

Methods: We used an individual Monte Carlo simulation to describe longitudinal ART adherence and viral load from conception until 2 years' postpartum. We applied national and international guidelines for viral load monitoring to the simulated data. We compared guidelines on the percentage of women receiving viral load monitoring and the percentage of women monitored at the time of elevated viral load.

Results: Coverage of viral load monitoring in pregnancy and breastfeeding varied markedly, with between 14% and 100% of women monitored antenatally and 38-98% monitored during breastfeeding. Specific recommendations for testing at either a fixed gestation or a short, fixed period after ART initiation achieved more than 95% testing in pregnancy but this was much lower (14-83%) among guidelines with no special stipulations. By the end of breastfeeding, only a small proportion of simulated episodes of elevated viral load more than 1000 copies/ml were successfully detected by monitoring (range, 20-50%).

Discussion: Although further research is needed to understand optimal viral load frequency and timing in this population, these results suggest that current policies yield suboptimal detection of elevated viral load in pregnant and breastfeeding women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000002400DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7060505PMC
February 2020

Neural-Tube Defects and Antiretroviral Treatment Regimens in Botswana.

N Engl J Med 2019 08 22;381(9):827-840. Epub 2019 Jul 22.

From the Division of Infectious Diseases, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (R.Z., R.L.S.), the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases (R.Z., M.E., S.L., J. Makhema, R.L.S.) and the Center for Biostatistics in AIDS Research (D.L.J., S.B.), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Massachusetts General Hospital (L.H.), and the Division of Infectious Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital (S.L.) - all in Boston; the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (R.Z., M.D., G.M., A.I., S.D., J. Mabuta, M.M., T.G., M.E., S.L., J. Makhema, R.L.S.) and the University of Botswana Faculty of Medicine (T.G.), Gaborone, Botswana; and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia (S.D.).

Background: A preliminary safety signal for neural-tube defects was previously reported in association with dolutegravir exposure from the time of conception, which has affected choices of antiretroviral treatment (ART) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women of reproductive potential. The signal can now be evaluated with data from follow-up of additional pregnancies.

Methods: We conducted birth-outcomes surveillance at hospitals throughout Botswana, expanding from 8 to 18 sites in 2018. Trained midwives performed surface examinations of all live-born and stillborn infants. Research assistants photographed abnormalities after maternal consent was obtained. The prevalence of neural-tube defects and major external structural defects according to maternal HIV infection and ART exposure status was determined. In the primary analyses, we used the Newcombe method to evaluate differences in prevalence with 95% confidence intervals.

Results: From August 2014 through March 2019, surveillance captured 119,477 deliveries; 119,033 (99.6%) had an infant surface examination that could be evaluated, and 98 neural-tube defects were identified (0.08% of deliveries). Among 1683 deliveries in which the mother was taking dolutegravir at conception, 5 neural-tube defects were found (0.30% of deliveries); the defects included two instances of myelomeningocele, one of anencephaly, one of encephalocele, and one of iniencephaly. In comparison, 15 neural-tube defects were found among 14,792 deliveries (0.10%) in which the mother was taking any non-dolutegravir ART at conception, 3 among 7959 (0.04%) in which the mother was taking efavirenz at conception, 1 among 3840 (0.03%) in which the mother started dolutegravir treatment during pregnancy, and 70 among 89,372 (0.08%) in HIV-uninfected mothers. The prevalence of neural-tube defects was higher in association with dolutegravir treatment at conception than with non-dolutegravir ART at conception (difference, 0.20 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01 to 0.59) or with other types of ART exposure. Major external structural defects were found in 0.95% of deliveries among women exposed to dolutegravir at conception and 0.68% of those among women exposed to non-dolutegravir ART at conception (difference, 0.27 percentage points; 95% CI, -0.13 to 0.87).

Conclusions: The prevalence of neural-tube defects was slightly higher in association with dolutegravir exposure at conception than with other types of ART exposure at conception (3 per 1000 deliveries vs. 1 per 1000 deliveries). (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1905230DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6995896PMC
August 2019

Universal Testing, Expanded Treatment, and Incidence of HIV Infection in Botswana.

N Engl J Med 2019 07;381(3):230-242

From the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (J. Makhema, T.G., M.M., E.K., U.C., K. Manyake, A.M.M., S.V.S., R. Letlhogile, K. Mukokomani, E.W., S.M., K.M.P., S.L.D.-P., C.K., S.G., H.B., L.O., O.J., E.T.T., M.E., S.L.), the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness (R. Lebelonyane, S.E.-H.), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (M.G.A., W.A., T.M., L.A.M., M.R.), Gaborone, Botswana; Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (K.E.W., M.P.H., S.M., K.M.P., S.L.D.-P., V.N., S.G., R.L.S., H.M., V.D., Q.L., R.W., E.T.T., M.E., S.L.), Massachusetts General Hospital (K.M.P.), Brigham and Women's Hospital (S.L.D.-P., S.L.), and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute (R.W.), Boston; Bennett Statistical Consulting, Ballston Lake, NY (K.B.); Goodtables Data Consulting, Norman, OK (J.L.); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (J. Moore, P.B., L.B., C.S., E.R., S.P.) and Intellectual Concepts (L.B.), Atlanta; and the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (E.T.T.).

Background: The feasibility of reducing the population-level incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection by increasing community coverage of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and male circumcision is unknown.

Methods: We conducted a pair-matched, community-randomized trial in 30 rural or periurban communities in Botswana from 2013 to 2018. Participants in 15 villages in the intervention group received HIV testing and counseling, linkage to care, ART (started at a higher CD4 count than in standard care), and increased access to male circumcision services. The standard-care group also consisted of 15 villages. Universal ART became available in both groups in mid-2016. We enrolled a random sample of participants from approximately 20% of households in each community and measured the incidence of HIV infection through testing performed approximately once per year. The prespecified primary analysis was a permutation test of HIV incidence ratios. Pair-stratified Cox models were used to calculate 95% confidence intervals.

Results: Of 12,610 enrollees (81% of eligible household members), 29% were HIV-positive. Of the 8974 HIV-negative persons (4487 per group), 95% were retested for HIV infection over a median of 29 months. A total of 57 participants in the intervention group and 90 participants in the standard-care group acquired HIV infection (annualized HIV incidence, 0.59% and 0.92%, respectively). The unadjusted HIV incidence ratio in the intervention group as compared with the standard-care group was 0.69 (P = 0.09) by permutation test (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.46 to 0.90 by pair-stratified Cox model). An end-of-trial survey in six communities (three per group) showed a significantly greater increase in the percentage of HIV-positive participants with an HIV-1 RNA level of 400 copies per milliliter or less in the intervention group (18 percentage points, from 70% to 88%) than in the standard-care group (8 percentage points, from 75% to 83%) (relative risk, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.16). The percentage of men who underwent circumcision increased by 10 percentage points in the intervention group and 2 percentage points in the standard-care group (relative risk, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.17 to 1.35).

Conclusions: Expanded HIV testing, linkage to care, and ART coverage were associated with increased population viral suppression. (Funded by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and others; Ya Tsie ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01965470.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1812281DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6800102PMC
July 2019

Methodological Challenges When Studying Distance to Care as an Exposure in Health Research.

Am J Epidemiol 2019 09;188(9):1674-1681

Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Distance to care is a common exposure and proposed instrumental variable in health research, but it is vulnerable to violations of fundamental identifiability conditions for causal inference. We used data collected from the Botswana Birth Outcomes Surveillance study between 2014 and 2016 to outline 4 challenges and potential biases when using distance to care as an exposure and as a proposed instrument: selection bias, unmeasured confounding, lack of sufficiently well-defined interventions, and measurement error. We describe how these issues can arise, and we propose sensitivity analyses for estimating the degree of bias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwz121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6735874PMC
September 2019

Neural-Tube Defects with Dolutegravir Treatment from the Time of Conception.

N Engl J Med 2018 09 24;379(10):979-981. Epub 2018 Jul 24.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMc1807653DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6550482PMC
September 2018

Comparative safety of dolutegravir-based or efavirenz-based antiretroviral treatment started during pregnancy in Botswana: an observational study.

Lancet Glob Health 2018 07 4;6(7):e804-e810. Epub 2018 Jun 4.

Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Global rollout of dolutegravir-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been hampered in part by insufficient safety data in pregnancy. We compared birth outcomes among women initiating dolutegravir-based ART with those among women initiating efavirenz-based ART in pregnancy in Botswana.

Methods: In this observational study, we captured birth outcome data at eight government hospitals throughout Botswana (~45% of all deliveries in the country) in an ongoing study that started on Aug 15, 2014. In 2016, Botswana changed first-line ART from efavirenz-tenofovir-emtricitabine to dolutegravir-tenofovir-emtricitabine, including for pregnant women. This analysis includes women starting either efavirenz-based ART or dolutegravir-based ART during singleton pregnancy (regimen started and delivery occurring between Aug 15, 2014, and Aug 15, 2016, for efavirenz-based ART and between Nov 1, 2016, and Sept 30, 2017, for dolutegravir-based ART). We excluded births to mothers who had switched regimen or stopped ART. The primary outcomes were the combined endpoints of any adverse outcome (stillbirth, preterm birth [<37 weeks' gestation], small for gestational age [SGA; less than the tenth percentile of birthweight by gestational age], or neonatal death [within 28 days of age]) and severe adverse outcomes (stillbirth, neonatal death, very preterm birth [<32 weeks' gestation], and very SGA [less than the third percentile of birthweight by gestational age]). We fitted log-binomial regression models, controlling for maternal age, gravidity, and education, to estimate adjusted risk ratios (aRRs).

Findings: Our analysis included 1729 pregnant women who initiated dolutegravir-based ART and 4593 who initiated efavirenz-based ART. The risk for any adverse birth outcome among women on dolutegravir versus efavirenz was similar (33·2% vs 35·0%; aRR 0·95, 95% CI 0·88-1·03), as was the risk of any severe birth outcome (10·7% vs 11·3%; 0·94, 0·81-1·11). We found no significant differences by regimen in the individual outcomes of stillbirth, neonatal death, preterm birth, very preterm birth, SGA, or very SGA.

Interpretation: Adverse birth outcomes were similar among pregnant women who initiated dolutegravir-based and efavirenz-based ART. Dolutegravir-based ART can be safely initiated in pregnancy.

Funding: National Institutes of Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30218-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6071315PMC
July 2018

Targeted HIV testing at birth supported by low and predictable mother-to-child transmission risk in Botswana.

J Int AIDS Soc 2018 05;21(5):e25111

Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana.

Introduction: Most African countries perform infant HIV testing at 6 weeks or later. The addition of targeted testing at birth may improve retention in care, treatment outcomes and survival for HIV-infected infants.

Methods: HIV-exposed infants were screened as part of the Early Infant Treatment (EIT) study in Botswana. Screened infants were ≥35 weeks gestational age and ≥2000 g at birth. Risk factors for mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) were assessed by maternal obstetric card or verbally. Risk factors included <8 weeks ART in pregnancy, last known CD4 <250 cells/mm , last known HIV RNA >400 copies/mL, poor maternal ART adherence, lack of maternal zidovudine (ZDV) in labour, or lack of infant post-exposure prophylaxis. Infants underwent dried blood spot testing by Roche Cobas Ampliprep/Cobas Taqman HIV-1 qualitative PCR.

Results: From April 2015 to April 2016, 2303 HIV-exposed infants were tested for HIV in the EIT study. Of these, 369 (16%) were identified as high risk for HIV infection by information available at birth, and 12 (0.5% overall, 3.25% of high risk) were identified as HIV positive at birth. All 12 positive infants were identified as high risk at the time of screening, and only 2 risk factors were required to identify all positive infants: either <8 weeks of maternal ART in pregnancy (75%) or lack of maternal HIV suppression at last test (25%).

Conclusions: In utero MTCT occurred only among infants identified as high risk at delivery, using information available from the mother or obstetric record. Birth testing that targets high-risk infants based on maternal ART receipt is likely to identify the majority of in utero HIV transmissions, and allows early ART initiation for these infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jia2.25111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5980617PMC
May 2018

Similar HIV protection from four weeks of zidovudine versus nevirapine prophylaxis among formula-fed infants in Botswana.

South Afr J HIV Med 2018 28;19(1):751. Epub 2018 Mar 28.

Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, United States.

Background: The World Health Organization HIV guidelines recommend either infant zidovudine (ZDV) or nevirapine (NVP) prophylaxis for the prevention of intrapartum mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT) among formula-fed infants. No study has evaluated the comparative efficacy of infant prophylaxis with twice daily ZDV versus once daily NVP in exclusively formula-fed HIV-exposed infants.

Methods: Using data from the Mpepu Study, a Botswana-based clinical trial investigating whether prophylactic co-trimoxazole could improve infant survival, retrospective analyses of MTCT events and Division of AIDS (DAIDS) Grade 3 or Grade 4 occurrences of anaemia or neutropenia were performed among infants born full-term (≥ 37 weeks gestation), with a birth weight ≥ 2500 g and who were formula-fed from birth. ZDV infant prophylaxis was used from Mpepu Study inception. A protocol modification mid-way through the study led to the subsequent use of NVP infant prophylaxis.

Results: Among infants qualifying for this secondary retrospective analysis, a total of 695 (52%) infants received ZDV, while 646 (48%) received NVP from birth for at least 25 days but no more than 35 days. Confirmed intrapartum HIV infection occurred in two (0.29%) ZDV recipients and three (0.46%) NVP recipients ( = 0.68). Anaemia occurred in 19 (2.7%) ZDV versus 12 (1.9%) NVP ( = 0.36) recipients. Neutropenia occurred in 28 (4.0%) ZDV versus 21 (3.3%) NVP recipients ( = 0.47).

Conclusions: Both ZDV and NVP resulted in low intrapartum transmission rates and no significant differences in severe infant haematologic toxicity (DAIDS Grade 3 or Grade 4) among formula-fed full-term infants with a birthweight ≥ 2500 g.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v19i1.751DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5913766PMC
March 2018

Effect of Gestational Age at Tenofovir-Emtricitabine-Efavirenz Initiation on Adverse Birth Outcomes in Botswana.

J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc 2018 Aug;7(3):e148-e151

Division of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

Among human immunodeficiency virus-positive women in Botswana on the recommended first-line antiretroviral therapy regimen, tenofovir-emtricitabine-efavirenz, initiated within the first or early second trimester, we found no increased risk of stillbirth, neonatal death, preterm/very preterm delivery, or the infant being born small or very small for gestational age. Treatment with tenofovir-emtricitabine-efavirenz <1 year before conception increased the risk of preterm delivery slightly over late-second-trimester treatment initiation (adjusted risk ratio, 1.33 [95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.70]).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jpids/piy006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6097579PMC
August 2018

Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis was associated with enteric commensal bacterial resistance among HIV-exposed infants in a randomized controlled trial, Botswana.

J Int AIDS Soc 2017 11;20(3)

Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, United States.

Introduction: Despite declining risk of vertical HIV transmission, prophylactic cotrimoxazole (CTX) remains widely used to reduce morbidity and mortality in the event of HIV infection among exposed infants, with an inherent risk of conferring commensal antimicrobial resistance. Using data from a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of infant CTX prophylaxis, we sought to quantify emergence of antibiotic resistance.

Methods: HIV-exposed uninfected infants enrolled in the Botswana Mpepu study were randomized to prophylactic CTX or placebo between 14 and 34 days of life and continued through 15 months. Stool samples were collected from a subset of participating infants at randomization, three, and six months, and stored at -70°C prior to culture. Specimens that grew Escherichia coli (E. coli) or Klebsiella species (Klebsiella spp.) underwent antibiotic susceptibility testing by Kirby Bauer method using CTX (CTX 1.25/23.75 μg) and Amoxicillin (10 μg) in Mueller Hinton agar. Fisher's exact testing was used to compare prevalence of resistance by randomization arm (CTX/placebo).

Results And Discussion: A total of 381 stool samples from 220 infants were cultured: 118 at randomization, 151 at three months, and 112 at six-months. E. coli was isolated from 206 specimens and Klebsiella spp. from 138 specimens. Resistance to CTX was common in both E. coli and Klebsiella spp. at the randomization visit (52.2% and 37.7% respectively) and did not differ by study arm. E. Coli isolates from CTX recipients at three and six months had 94.9% and 84.2% CTX resistance, as compared with 51.4% and 57.5% CTX resistance in isolates from placebo recipients (p=0.01). Klebsiella spp. isolates from CTX recipients had 79.0% and 68.8% CTX resistance at three and six months, as compared with 19.1% and 14.3% in isolates from placebo recipients (p<0.01).

Conclusions: HIV-exposed infants randomized to CTX prophylaxis had increased CTX-resistant commensal gastrointestinal bacteria compared with placebo recipients. Additional research is needed to determine the longer-term clinical, microbiologic, and public health consequences of antimicrobial resistance selected by infant CTX prophylaxis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jia2.25021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5810322PMC
November 2017

Emulating a target trial of antiretroviral therapy regimens started before conception and risk of adverse birth outcomes.

AIDS 2018 Jan;32(1):113-120

Division of Infectious Disease, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Objective: To compare the effect of preconception initiation of zidovudine, lamivudine, nevirapine (ZDV/3TC/NVP) versus tenofovir, emtricitabine, efavirenz (TDF/FTC/EFV) on adverse birth outcomes.

Design: Emulation of a hypothetical (target) trial using a birth surveillance study in Botswana during an era of CD4-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation.

Methods: In women who initiated ART less than 3 years from HIV diagnosis, conceived 0.5-5 years after ART initiation, and delivered at least 24-week gestation, we estimated risk ratios for stillbirth, preterm delivery (<37 weeks), very preterm delivery (<32 weeks), small-for-gestational-age (SGA) (<10 percentile), very SGA (<3 percentile), and any adverse or severe birth outcome for first-line ZDV/3TC/NVP versus TDF/FTC/EFV. We conducted a historical comparison in women who initiated TDF/FTC/EFV in 2012-2015 and ZDV/3TC/NVP in 2004-2011, and a contemporaneous comparison in an era of overlapping use from 2009 to 2013.

Results: In the historical comparison, 1108 women initiated TDF/FTC/EFV and 637 initiated ZDV/3TC/NVP. In the contemporaneous comparison, 1052 initiated TDF/FTC/EFV and 298 initiated ZDV/3TC/NVP. TDF/FTC/EFV initiators were younger and more likely to be nulliparous than ZDV/3TC/NVP initiators in both comparisons. In the historical comparison, the adjusted risk ratios (95% confidence interval) comparing ZDV/3TC/NVP with TDF/FTC/EFV were 2.95 (1.76, 4.96) for stillbirth, 1.40 (1.17, 1.67) for preterm delivery, 2.58 (1.70, 3.91) for very preterm delivery, 1.96 (1.64, 2.34) for SGA, 2.32 (1.73, 3.09) for very SGA, 1.54 (1.38, 1.72) for any adverse birth outcome, and 2.20 (1.76, 2.75) for any severe birth outcome, and were similar in the contemporaneous comparison.

Conclusion: Preconception initiation of ZDV/3TC/NVP compared with TDF/FTC/EFV may increase the risk of adverse birth outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000001673DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5718935PMC
January 2018

Comparative Safety of Antiretroviral Treatment Regimens in Pregnancy.

JAMA Pediatr 2017 10 2;171(10):e172222. Epub 2017 Oct 2.

Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Maternal antiretroviral treatment (ART) started before conception may increase the risk for adverse birth outcomes among women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, but whether the risk differs by ART regimen is unknown.

Objective: To compare the risk for selected birth outcomes by maternal ART regimen.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This observational birth outcomes surveillance study compared all live births and stillbirths with a gestational age of at least 24 weeks in 8 geographically dispersed government hospitals throughout Botswana (approximately 45% of births nationwide). Data were collected from August 15, 2014, through August 15, 2016.

Exposures: Births among HIV-infected women who started 3-drug ART regimens before their last menstrual period and did not switch or stop ART in pregnancy were considered to be ART exposed from conception.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcomes were any adverse birth outcome, including stillbirth, preterm birth (<37 weeks), small size for gestational age (SGA; <10th percentile of weight for gestational age) or neonatal death (<28 days from delivery), and any severe adverse outcome, including very preterm birth (<32 weeks), very SGA (<3rd percentile of weight for gestational age), stillbirth, and neonatal death.

Results: Information was available for 47 027 of 47 124 births (99.8%) at surveillance maternity hospitals (mean [SD] age of mothers, 26.86 [6.45] years). Among 11 932 HIV-exposed infants, 5780 (48.4%) were ART exposed from conception. Adverse birth outcomes were more common among HIV-exposed infants than HIV-unexposed infants (39.6% vs 28.9%; adjusted relative risk [ARR], 1.40; 95% CI, 1.36-1.44). The risk for any adverse birth outcome was lower among infants exposed from conception to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, emtricitabine, and efavirenz (TDF-FTC-EFV) (901 of 2472 [36.4%]) compared with TDF-FTC and nevirapine (NVP) (317 of 760 [41.7%]; ARR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.04-1.27); TDF-FTC and lopinavir-ritonavir (TDF-FTC-LPV-R) (112 of 231 [48.5%]; ARR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.13-1.52); zidovudine, lamivudine, and NPV (ZDV-3TC-NVP) (647 of 1365 [47.4%]; ARR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.20-1.41); or ZDV-3TC-LPV-R (75 of 167 [44.9%]; ARR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.01-1.45). The risk for any severe adverse outcome was also lower among infants exposed from conception to TDF-FTC-EFV (303 of 2472 [12.3%]) compared with TDF-FTC-NVP (136 of 760 [17.9%]; ARR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.19-1.74), TDF-FTC-LPV-R (45 of 231 [19.5%]; ARR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.19-2.11), ZDV-3TC-NVP (283 of 1365 [20.7%]; ARR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.44-1.96), or ZDV-3TC-LPV-R (39 of 167 [23.4%]; ARR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.43-2.60) from conception. Compared with TDF-FTC-EFV, all other regimens were associated with higher risk for SGA; ZDV-3TC-NVP was associated with higher risk of stillbirth, very preterm birth, and neonatal death; and ZDV-3TC-LPV-R was associated with higher risk for preterm birth, very preterm birth, and neonatal death.

Conclusions And Relevance: Among infants exposed to ART from conception, TDF-FTC-EFV was associated with a lower risk for adverse birth outcomes than other ART regimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.2222DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5726309PMC
October 2017

Brief Report: High Sensitivity and Specificity of the Cepheid Xpert HIV-1 Qualitative Point-of-Care Test Among Newborns in Botswana.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2017 08;75(5):e128-e131

*Harvard Medical School, Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship, Boston, MA; †David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA; ‡Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana; §Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA; ‖Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA; and ¶Division of Infectious Disease, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA.

Background: HIV point-of-care (POC) testing allows for early infant HIV diagnosis and treatment, but POC accuracy at birth and in the setting of antiretroviral prophylaxis for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission is unknown.

Methods: We evaluated the Cepheid Xpert HIV-1 Qual POC test against the Roche Taqman HIV-1 DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) platform using dried blood spots from 15 HIV-infected and 75 HIV-exposed uninfected newborns. These infants were screened for HIV at <96 hours of life at 5 hospital maternity wards in Botswana; all infants received postexposure antiretroviral prophylaxis with single-dose nevirapine and zidovudine, and most mothers received 3-drug antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy and at delivery.

Results: Fourteen of the 15 PCR positive samples tested positive by Cepheid POC, yielding a sensitivity of 93.3% (95% confidence interval: 68.1 to 99.8). Baseline viral load among positive infants ranged from <40 to >10,000,000 copies/mL, with a median of 2403 copies/mL. The HIV RNA for the infant with false-negative POC testing was 1661 copies/mL. Of note, 2 infants with low HIV RNA (<40 and 272 copies/mL) were correctly identified as HIV positive by Cepheid POC. All the 75 PCR-negative samples tested negative by Cepheid POC, yielding a specificity of 100% (95% confidence interval: 96.1 to 100).

Discussion: Our study demonstrates high sensitivity and specificity for the Cepheid POC assay in the first week of life despite early infection and antiretroviral prophylaxis. This platform may be a useful approach for adding early infant HIV diagnosis to current testing programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000001384DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5503760PMC
August 2017

Detecting congenital malformations - Lessons learned from the Mpepu study, Botswana.

PLoS One 2017 24;12(3):e0173800. Epub 2017 Mar 24.

Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana.

Introduction: A large and increasing number of HIV-infected women are conceiving on antiretroviral treatment (ART). While most antiretrovirals are considered safe in pregnancy, monitoring for rare pregnancy and infant adverse outcomes is warranted.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective secondary analysis nested within a clinical trial of infant cotrimoxazole vs. placebo prophylaxis in Botswana (the Mpepu Study). Infants were examined at birth, and at least every 3 months through 18 months of age. Abnormal physical findings and diagnostic testing revealing malformations were documented. Post hoc, a geneticist classified all reported malformations based on available documentation. Structural malformations with surgical, medical or cosmetic importance were classified as major malformations. We present a descriptive analysis of identified malformations.

Results: Between 2011 and 2014, 2,933 HIV-infected women who enrolled in the Mpepu study delivered 2,971 live-born infants. Study staff conducted 2,944 (99%) newborn exams. One thousand eighty-eight (38%) women were taking ART at conception; 1,147 (40%) started ART during pregnancy; 442 (15%) received zidovudine monotherapy; and 223 (7%) received no antiretroviral during pregnancy. Of 33 reported anomalies, 25 (76%) met congenital malformations criteria, 10 (30%) were classified as major malformations, 4 (40%) of which were identified after the birth exam.

Discussion: Our results highlight the importance of staff training on identification of congenital malformations, programmatic monitoring beyond the birth examination and the value of geneticist involvement in the malformations classification process in resource-limited settings. These elements will be important to fully define antiretroviral drug safety in pregnancy.

Significance: Surveillance systems for monitoring the safety of antiretroviral use during pregnancy among HIV-infected women in resource-limited setting are lacking. The World Health Organization's published programmatic recommendations for such surveillance systems represents the gold standard. We employed data from a clinical trial in Botswana, a country with a generalized HIV epidemic and high antiretroviral uptake by HIV-infected women, to highlight practical opportunities to strengthen congenital malformation surveillance systems in these settings where over 1 million HIV infected pregnant women reside.

Trial Registration: Clinical Trials.gov NCT01229761.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0173800PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5365099PMC
August 2017

High Proportion of Deaths Attributable to HIV Among Postpartum Women in Botswana Despite Widespread Uptake of Antiretroviral Therapy.

AIDS Patient Care STDS 2017 Jan;31(1):14-19

1 Division of Infectious Diseases, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center , Boston, Massachusetts.

Mortality in the postpartum period may be impacted by antiretroviral therapy (ART) received in pregnancy, and whether ART is continued in the postpartum period. HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected mothers were enrolled within 48 h of delivery at five public hospital maternity wards throughout Botswana and followed for 24 months. Maternal deaths were reported by one of the approved contacts given by the mother at enrollment. Detailed information on the cause of death was not available. Risk factors for 24-month mortality were assessed using Cox proportional hazard models. From February 2012 to March 2013, 3000 mothers (1499 HIV infected and 1501 HIV uninfected) were enrolled, and 2985 (99.5%) were followed to 24 months or death, or until the death of their child. There were 26 total maternal deaths through 24 months postpartum [439 per 100,000 person-years (p-y)], 22 among HIV-infected women (758 per 100,000 p-y) and 4 among HIV-uninfected women (132 per 100,000 p-y). Maternal HIV-infection (aHR 5.0, 95% CI 1.6-15.2) and infant birth injury (aHR 3.8, 95% CI 1.3-11.4) were independent risk factors for maternal death. Universal ART in pregnancy became the standard-of-care after June 2012, and 978 (65%) women received ART in pregnancy; by 24 months postpartum or end of follow-up, 1148 (79%) had started ART overall. There was no significant difference in 24-month mortality among HIV-infected women who took ART in pregnancy and continued throughout the follow-up period compared with HIV-infected women who took ART or zidovudine in pregnancy and stopped postpartum (aHR 0.6, 95% CI 0.2-1.7). Despite high uptake of ART in pregnancy and postpartum, women with HIV infection in Botswana are five times more likely to die than HIV-uninfected women in the 24 months postpartum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/apc.2016.0154DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5220571PMC
January 2017

The effect of neonatal vitamin A supplementation on morbidity and mortality at 12 months: a randomized trial.

Int J Epidemiol 2016 12;45(6):2112-2121

Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: : Neonatal vitamin A supplementation (NVAS) is an intervention hypothesized to reduce infant morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of neonatal vitamin A supplementation in reducing infant morbidity and mortality and assess potential sources of heterogeneity of the effect of NVAS.

Methods: : We completed an individually randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in Tanzania. Infants were randomized within 3 days of birth to a single dose of vitamin A (50 000 IU) or placebo. We assessed infants at 1 and 3 days after supplementation, as well as 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after supplementation. We included all live births in the analysis and used relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) to assess the risks of mortality and hospitalization by 12 months. We used general estimating equations to assess the incidence of morbidities during infancy.

Results: : A total of 31 999 infants were enrolled in the study between August 2010 and March 2013. At 12 months, vitamin A did not reduce all-cause infant mortality (RR 1.04; 95% CI 0.92-1.16), nor affect hospitalization (RR 1.09; 95% CI 0.97-1.22) or all-cause morbidity (RR 1.00; 95% CI 0.96-1.05). Postpartum maternal vitamin A supplementation modified the effect of neonatal vitamin A supplementation on mortality at 12 months ( P -value, test for interaction = 0.04). Among infants born to women who received a mega-dose of vitamin A after delivery, NVAS appeared to increase the risk of death (RR 1.12; 95% CI 0.98-1.29), whereas the risk of death among infants born to women who did not receive a mega-dose was reduced (RR 0.86; 95% CI 0.70-1.06). We noted no modification of the effect of NVAS by infant gender, birthweight or maternal HIV status.

Conclusion: : NVAS did not affect the risk of death or incidence of common childhood morbidities. However, this study sheds light on potential sources of heterogeneity of the effect of neonatal vitamin A supplementation which should be further examined in a pooled analysis of all NVAS trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyw238DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5841838PMC
December 2016

The aetiology of diarrhoea, pneumonia and respiratory colonization of HIV-exposed infants randomized to breast- or formula-feeding.

Paediatr Int Child Health 2016 Aug;36(3):189-97

b Botswana Harvard Partnership , Gaborone , Botswana.

Background: Diarrhoea and pneumonia are common causes of childhood death in sub-Saharan Africa but there are few studies describing specific pathogens.

Objectives: The study aimed to describe the pathogens associated with diarrhoea, pneumonia and oropharyngeal colonization in children born to HIV-infected women (HIV-exposed infants).

Methods: The Mashi Study randomized 1200 HIV-infected women and their infants to breastfeed for 6 months with ZDV prophylaxis or formula-feed with 4 weeks of ZDV. Children were tested for HIV by PCR at 1, 4, 7, 9 and 12 months and by ELISA at 18 months. Pre-defined subsets of children were sampled during episodes of diarrhoea (n = 300) and pneumonia (n = 85). Stool was tested for bacterial pathogens, rotavirus and parasites. Children with pneumonia underwent bacterial blood culture, and testing of nasopharyngeal aspirates for viral pathogens by PCR. Oropharyngeal swabs were collected from a consecutive subset of 561 infants at the routine 3-month visit for bacterial culture.

Results: The median age (range) at sampling was 181 days for diarrhoea (0-730) and 140 days for pneumonia (2-551). Pathogens were identified in 55 (18%) children with diarrhoea and 32 (38%) with pneumonia. No differences in pathogens by child HIV status (HIV-infected vs HIV-uninfected) or feeding strategy were identified. Campylobacter was the most common diarrhoeal pathogen (7%). Adenovirus (22%) and other viruses (19%) were the primary pathogens isolated during pneumonias. More formula-fed infants had oropharyngeal colonization by pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria (16.8% vs 6.2%, P = 0.003), which was associated with a non-significant increased risk of pneumonia (OR 2.2, 95% CI 0.8-5.7).

Conclusion: A trend toward oropharyngeal bacterial colonization was observed in formula-fed infants. Although viruses were most commonly detected during pneumonia, respiratory colonization by Gram-negative bacteria may have contributed to pneumonia in formula-fed infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/2046905515Y.0000000038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4673023PMC
August 2016

HIV-related mortality at a district hospital in Botswana.

Int J STD AIDS 2017 03 10;28(3):277-283. Epub 2016 Jul 10.

1 Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership for HIV Research and Education, Gaborone, Botswana.

We reviewed mortality data among medical inpatients at a tertiary hospital in Botswana to identify risk factors for adverse inpatient outcomes. This review was a prospective analysis of inpatient admissions. All medical admissions to male and female medical wards were recorded over a six-month period between 1 November 2011 and 30 April 2012. Data collected included patient demographics, HIV status (positive, negative, unknown), HIV testing history, HIV related treatment and serological history, admission and discharge diagnoses, and mortality status at final discharge or transfer. Of 972 patients admitted during the surveillance period, 427 (43.9%) were known to be HIV-positive on admission, 144 (14.8%) were known to be HIV-negative, and 401 (41.3%) had an unknown HIV status. Of those with unknown status, 131 (32.7%) were tested for HIV during admission and among these 35 (27.5%) were HIV-positive. Including patients with known mortality status following transfer, 172 (17.9%) patients died during the hospitalization. Death occurred in 105 (23%) of known HIV-positive patients, compared with 31 (13%) of known HIV-negative patients (p = 0.002, HR = 1.56 in adjusted analyses). Among HIV-positive patients who died, a low CD4 cell count (<200 cells/mm) was associated with death. Overall, patients who died had significantly more neurological and respiratory-related presenting complaints than patients who survived. In conclusion, we identified higher overall mortality among HIV-positive patients at a tertiary hospital in Botswana, and low rates of in-hospital HIV testing and antiretroviral therapy initiation. These data demonstrate that despite available antiretroviral therapy in the population for over a decade, HIV continues to add excess burden to the hospital system and adds to inpatient mortality in Botswana.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956462416646492DOI Listing
March 2017
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