Most infants with pediatric acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and infections with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are infected perinatally by their mothers. To determine the proportion of exposed infants who are infected, we conducted a hospital-based prospective study in HIV-1-infected women whose infants were delivered at a single metropolitan hospital in Miami, Fla. A population of uninfected women and their infants was also enrolled and followed longitudinally for 2 years to assess laboratory and clinical measurements. The median follow-up is now 18 months for 82 infants born to HIV-1-infected mothers. The proportion of infected infants in this group is 0.30 (25/82). None of the infants born to 110 HIV-1-seronegative mothers were seropositive. Infected infants were easily distinguished from noninfected infants by virus isolation. No single immunologic or hematologic measure was predictive of infection for all infants at risk for HIV-1 infection who were 6 months of age or younger. As a group, however, infected infants could be distinguished from uninfected index infants by a number of immunologic measures by 6 months of age; the absolute number of CD4+ lymphocytes and the CD4+/CD8+ lymphocyte ratio were the variables most predictive of infection. As in retrospective studies, clinical disease developed in 80% of infected infants within the first 24 months of life. This study provides documentation of HIV-1 perinatal transmission risk and early correlates of infection in young infants from a single hospital.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health