(1/2315) A review of statistical methods for estimating the risk of vertical human immunodeficiency virus transmission.

BACKGROUND: Estimation of the risk of vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been complicated by the lack of a reliable diagnostic test for paediatric HIV infection. METHODS: A literature search was conducted to identify all statistical methods that have been used to estimate HIV vertical transmission risk. Although the focus of this article is the analysis of birth cohort studies, ad hoc studies are also reviewed. CONCLUSIONS: The standard method for estimating HIV vertical transmission risk is biased and inefficient. Various alternative analytical approaches have been proposed but all involve simplifying assumptions and some are difficult to implement. However, early diagnosis/exclusion of infection is now possible because of improvements in polymerase chain reaction technology and complex estimation methods should no longer be required. The best way to analyse studies conducted in breastfeeding populations is still unclear and deserves attention in view of the many intervention studies being planned or conducted in developing countries.  (+info)

(2/2315) Short course antiretroviral regimens to reduce maternal transmission of HIV.


(3/2315) Congenital transmission of Schistosoma japonicum in pigs.

Congenital transmission of Schistosoma japonicum in pigs was investigated by experimentally infecting sows at four weeks gestation (n = 3), 10 weeks gestation (n = 3), or a few weeks prior to insemination (n = 2). None of the piglets born to sows infected prior to insemination or in early pregnancy were found to be infected. However, all of the piglets (n = 26) born to sows infected at 10 weeks gestation were found to harbor schistosomes with S. japonicum eggs recovered from both their feces and livers. The findings show that congenital S. japonicum infection of pigs can occur if sows are infected during mid-to-late pregnancy and may have important implications not only for pigs but also for other mammalian hosts of schistosomes, including humans.  (+info)

(4/2315) Variation of hepatitis C virus following serial transmission: multiple mechanisms of diversification of the hypervariable region and evidence for convergent genome evolution.

We have studied the evolution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) from a common source following serial transmission from contaminated batches of anti-D immunoglobulin. Six secondary recipients were each infected with virus from identifiable primary recipients of HCV-contaminated anti-D immunoglobulin. Phylogenetic analysis of virus E1/E2 gene sequences [including the hypervariable region (HVR)] and part of NS5B confirmed their common origin, but failed to reproduce the known epidemiological relationships between pairs of viruses, probably because of the frequent occurrence of convergent substitutions at both synonymous and nonsynonymous sites. There was no evidence that the rate at which the HCV genome evolves is affected by transmission events. Three different mechanisms appear to have been involved in generating variation of the hypervariable region; nucleotide substitution, insertion/deletion of nucleotide triplets at the E1/E2 boundary and insertion of a duplicated segment replacing almost the entire HVR. These observations have important implications for the phylogenetic analysis of HCV sequences from epidemiologically linked isolates.  (+info)

(5/2315) Virulence evolution in a virus obeys a trade-off.

The evolution of virulence was studied in a virus subjected to alternating episodes of vertical and horizontal transmission. Bacteriophage f1 was used as the parasite because it establishes a debilitating but non-fatal infection that can be transmitted vertically (from a host to its progeny) as well as horizontally (infection of new hosts). Horizontal transmission was required of all phage at specific intervals, but was prevented otherwise. Each episode of horizontal transmission was followed by an interval of obligate vertical transmission, followed by an interval of obligate horizontal transmission etc. The duration of vertical transmission was eight times longer per episode in one treatment than in the other, thus varying the relative intensity of selection against virulence while maintaining selection for some level of virus production. Viral lines with the higher enforced rate of infectious transmission evolved higher virulence and higher rates of virus production. These results support the trade-off model for the evolution of virulence.  (+info)

(6/2315) Studies of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 mucosal viral shedding and transmission in Kenya.

If human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccines are to be highly effective, it is essential to understand the virologic factors that contribute to HIV-1 transmission. It is likely that transmission is determined, in part, by the genotype or phenotype (or both) of infectious virus present in the index case, which in turn will influence the quantity of virus that may be exchanged during sexual contact. Transmission may also depend on the fitness of the virus for replication in the exposed individual, which may be influenced by whether a virus encounters a target cell that is susceptible to infection by that specific variant. Of interest, our data suggest that the complexity of the virus that is transmitted may be different in female and male sexual exposures.  (+info)

(7/2315) Transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 through breast-feeding: how can it be prevented?

One-third to two-thirds of maternal transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection to breast-fed infants can be attributed to ingestion of breast milk. The presence of HIV-1 as cell-free and as cell-associated virus in milk has been documented. Several substances in breast milk may be protective against transmission, including maternal anti-HIV antibodies, vitamin A, lactoferrin, and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor. The portal of virus entry in the infant's gastrointestinal tract is unknown but may involve breaches in mucosal surfaces, transport across M cells, or direct infection of other epithelial cells, such as enterocytes. Timing of transmission of HIV-1 during lactation should be further clarified. An early rebound of plasma viremia after withdrawal of antiretrovirals was recently detected. This rebound may reduce the benefit of antiretroviral prophylaxis when women breast-feed their infants. Interventions should be viewed from the public health perspective of risks of infant morbidity and mortality associated with breast-feeding versus risks from formula-feeding.  (+info)

(8/2315) The mode of delivery and the risk of vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1--a meta-analysis of 15 prospective cohort studies. The International Perinatal HIV Group.

BACKGROUND: To evaluate the relation between elective cesarean section and vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), we performed a meta-analysis using data on individual patients from 15 prospective cohort studies. METHODS: North American and European studies of at least 100 mother-child pairs were included in the meta-analysis. Uniform definitions of modes of delivery were used. Elective cesarean sections were defined as those performed before onset of labor and rupture of membranes. Multivariate logistic-regression analysis was used to adjust for other factors known to be associated with vertical transmission. RESULTS: The primary analysis included data on 8533 mother-child pairs. After adjustment for receipt of antiretroviral therapy, maternal stage of disease, and infant birth weight, the likelihood of vertical transmission of HIV-1 was decreased by approximately 50 percent with elective cesarean section, as compared with other modes of delivery (adjusted odds ratio, 0.43; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.33 to 0.56). The results were similar when the study population was limited to those with rupture of membranes shortly before delivery. The likelihood of transmission was reduced by approximately 87 percent with both elective cesarean section and receipt of antiretroviral therapy during the prenatal, intrapartum, and neonatal periods, as compared with other modes of delivery and the absence of therapy (adjusted odds ratio, 0.13; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.09 to 0.19). Among mother-child pairs receiving antiretroviral therapy during the prenatal, intrapartum, and neonatal periods, rates of vertical transmission were 2.0 percent among the 196 mothers who underwent elective cesarean section and 7.3 percent among the 1255 mothers with other modes of delivery. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this meta-analysis suggest that elective cesarean section reduces the risk of transmission of HIV-1 from mother to child independently of the effects of treatment with zidovudine.  (+info)