Background: In resource-poor regions of the world, HIV virologic testing is not available. Objective: We sought to evaluate the diagnostic usefulness of the CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio in predicting HIV infection in infants. Methods: Data from the 3- and 9-month visits for non-breast-fed infants born to HIV-infected mothers enrolled (1990-1994) in the Pediatric Pulmonary and Cardiac Complications of Vertically Transmitted HIV Infection Study (mother-to-child transmission of HIV, 17%) were analyzed. Data from the 3-month visit for infants enrolled (1985-1996) in the Perinatal AIDS Collaborative Transmission Study (mother-to-child transmission of HIV, 18%) were used for validation. Results: At 3 months of age, data were available on 79 HIV-infected and 409 uninfected non-breast-fed infants in the Pediatric Pulmonary and Cardiac Complications of Vertically Transmitted HIV Infection Study. The area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic curve at 3 months was higher for the CD4/CD8 ratio compared with the CD4+ T-cell count (AUC, 0.83 and 0.75; P = .03). The mean CD4/CD8 ratio at the 3-month visit was 1.7 for HIV-infected infants and 3.0 for uninfected infants. A CD4/CD8 ratio of 2.4 at 3 months of age was almost 2.5 times more likely to occur in an HIV-infected infant compared with an uninfected infant (test sensitivity, 81%; posttest probability of HIV, 33%). Model performance in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Perinatal AIDS Collaborative Transmission Study validation test (224 HIV-infected and 1015 uninfected 3-month-old infants) was equally good (AUC, 0.78 for CD4/CD8 ratio). Conclusion: The CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio is a more sensitive predictor of HIV infection in infants than the CD4+ T-cell count. Clinical implications: The CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio can be used with caution to predict HIV infection in children.
- CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio
- HIV infection
- mother-to-child transmission of HIV
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy