Perinatal HIV transmission occurs in utero or intrapartum. The mechanisms and timing of transmission are not clearly understood. To compare the genetic sequences of the V3 envelope region of infant's plasma HIV to that of the mother's plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and vaginal secretions, and correlate with timing of transmission. All 3 infants had a positive HIV PCR in the first days of life, thus classified as in utero infections. In the first mother-infant pair, two different variants were present in the infant, one correlating with maternal PBMC virus and highly homologous to virus from vaginal secretions and the other identical to sequences in maternal plasma. In the second pair, the infant plasma virus was similar to that of maternal PBMC. In the third pair, the cord blood and infant plasma virus were highly similar to maternal vaginal virus. The presence of more than one HIV variant from the maternal blood and from the vaginal compartment in the cord blood of infants presumably infected in utero could point to more than one episode of transmission or, alternatively, to transmission of PBMC virus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases