Apr, 2019

Severe haematologic toxicity is rare in high risk HIV-exposed infants receiving combination neonatal prophylaxis.


Authors: European Pregnancy and Paediatric HIV Cohort Collaboration (EPPICC) study group in EuroCoord

Published in: HIV Med. 2019;20(5):291-307.

Objectives Combination neonatal prophylaxis (CNP) is recommended in high‐risk situations for the prevention of mother‐to‐child HIV transmission, although data on its safety are limited. The aim of the study was to identify whether neonatal prophylaxis (NP) type is associated with the risk of severe anaemia or neutropaenia.

Methods An individual patient data meta‐analysis was conducted within six European cohorts, in infants at high risk for acquiring HIV infection. Adjusted logistic regression models were used to assess the risk of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Division of AIDS (DAIDS) grade 3–4 anaemia/neutropaenia at ages 0–6 months. Mixture models of haemoglobin (Hb) level and log10‐transformed neutrophil count (NC) were used to explore associations with NP type at ages 0–18 months.

Results Of 1836 infants, 25% were preterm, 1149 (63%) had antenatal combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) exposure and 395 (22%) received NP (125 received CNP with three drugs). Overall, 117 (6.7%) infants had grade 3–4 anaemia at age 0–6 months and 140 (9.1%) had grade 3–4 neutropaenia. The presence of grade 3–4 anaemia or neutropaenia was not associated with NP type [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.04 for one‐drug NP and 1.60 for three‐drug NP versus two‐drug NP (P = 0.879 and P = 0.277, respectively) for anaemia; aOR 1.33 for one‐drug NP and 1.98 for three‐drug NP versus two‐drug NP (=0.330 and =0.113, respectively) for neutropaenia], but was associated with preterm delivery. Overall, 7746 Hb and NC results were available for 1836 infants up to age 18 months; no significant differences in predicted Hb level or NC were apparent by NP type.

Conclusions A small proportion of infants experienced grade 3–4 haematological adverse events; risk of anaemia or netropenia was not associated with type of NP.


Apr, 2019

Prevalence and clinical outcomes of poor immune response despite virologically suppressive antiretroviral therapy among children and adolescents with HIV in Europe and Thailand: cohort study


Authors: Collins IJ; European Pregnancy and Paediatric HIV Cohort Collaboration (EPPICC) study group in EuroCoord

Published in: Clin Infect Dis. 2019; 28. pii: ciz253. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciz253. [Epub ahead of print]

Background In HIV-positive adults, low CD4 cell counts despite fully suppressed HIV-1 RNA on antiretroviral therapy (ART) have been associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality. We assessed the prevalence and outcomes of poor immune response (PIR) in children on suppressive ART.

Methods Sixteen cohorts from the European Pregnancy and Paediatric HIV Cohort Collaboration (EPPICC) contributed data. Children aged<18 years at ART initiation, with sustained viral suppression (VS) (≤400copies/mL) for ≥1 year were included. The prevalence of PIR (defined as WHO advanced/severe immunosuppression for age: CD4%<30% in children aged<12 months, CD4%<25% in 12-35 months, CD4%<20% in 36-59 months; CD4%<15%/CD4<350 cells/mm3 in ≥5-years) at 1 year of VS was described. Factors associated with PIR were assessed using logistic regression. Rates of AIDS or death on suppressive ART were calculated by PIR status.

Results Of 2318 children included, median age was 6.4 [IQR, 2.1, 10.4] years and 68% had advanced/severe immunosuppression at ART initiation. At 1 year of VS, 12% had PIR. In multivariable analysis, PIR was associated with older age and worse immunological stage at ART start, hepatitis-B coinfection and residing in Thailand (all p≤0.03). Rates of AIDS/death (95% CI) per 100,000 person-years were 1052 (547, 2022) among PIR versus 261 (166, 409) among immune responders; rate ratio of 4.04 (1.83, 8.92), p<0.001.

Conclusions One in eight children in our cohort experienced PIR despite sustained viral suppression. While the overall rate of AIDS/death was low, children with PIR had four-fold increase in risk of event as compared to immune responders.


Mar, 2019

Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor backbones and pregnancy outcomes


Authors: European Pregnancy and Paediatric HIV Cohort Collaboration (EPPICC) Study Group

Published in: Aids. 2019;33(2):295-304.

Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate whether specific nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) backbones are associated with risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes among pregnant women starting antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Design Seven observational studies across eight European countries of pregnancies in HIV-positive women.

Methods Individual-level data were pooled on singleton pregnancies conceived off-ART in which a single combination ART regimen was initiated at least 2 weeks before delivery, and ending in a live birth in 2008-2014. Preterm delivery (PTD) was defined as less than 37 gestational weeks and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) as less than 10th percentile according to INTERGROWTH standards. Poisson regression models were fitted to investigate associations between NRTI backbones and PTD/SGA.

Results Out of 7193 pregnancies, 45% (3207) were in UK/Ireland, 44% (3134) in Ukraine. 10% (722/7193) of deliveries were preterm and 11.1% (785/7089) of newborns SGA. The most common NRTI backbones were zidovudine (ZDV)-lamivudine (3TC) (71%), tenofovir (TDF)-XTC (16%) and abacavir (ABC)-3TC (10%) with TDF-containing backbone use increasing over time. Overall, 77% of regimens contained ritonavir-boosted lopinavir (LPV/r). There was no association between NRTI backbone and PTD in main adjusted analyses [adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) 0.97 (95% confidence interval, 95% CI 0.73-1.28] for ABC-3TC and aPR 1.06 (95% CI 0.83-1.35) for TDF-XTC, both vs. ZDV-3TC) or in 4720 pregnancies on LPV/r [aPR 1.03 (95% CI 0.74-1.43) for ABC-3TC and aPR 1.16 [0.85-1.57] for TDF-XTC, both vs. ZDV-3TC]. Infants exposed to ABC-3TC or TDF-XTC in utero were less likely to be SGA than those exposed to ZDV-3TC [aPR 0.72 (95% CI 0.53-0.97) and aPR 0.70 (95% CI 0.53-0.93), respectively].

Conclusion Results support the safety of TDF-XTC backbones initiated in pregnancy with respect to gestation length and birthweight.


Mar, 2019

Birth Defects After Exposure to Efavirenz-Based Antiretroviral Therapy at Conception/First Trimester of Pregnancy A Multicohort Analysis


Authors:Martinez de Tejada B; European Pregnancy and Paediatric HIV Cohort Collaboration Study Group.

Published in: J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2019;80(3):316-324.


Background To investigate the association between efavirenz (EFV) use during conception or first trimester (T1) of pregnancy and the occurrence of birth defects.

Setting Seven observational studies of pregnant HIV-positive women across 13 European countries and Thailand.

Methods Individual-level data were pooled on singleton pregnancies included in participating cohorts in 2002-2015. Birth defects were coded according to ICD-10 and the EUROCAT classification. We performed mixed-effects logistic regression models to assess the association between EFV exposure in utero and likelihood of birth defects.

Results We included 24,963 live births from 21,093 women. At conception, 30.2% (7537) women were on a non-EFV-based regimen, 4.8% (1200) on EFV, and 65% (16,226) were unexposed to antiretroviral therapy (ART). There were 412 infants with ≥1 birth defect, a prevalence of 1.65% (95% confidence interval: 1.50 to 1.82). Limb/musculoskeletal and congenital heart defects were the most common defects reported. Birth defects were present in 2.4%, 1.6%, and 1.3% of infants exposed to non-EFV, EFV, and unexposed to ART during conception/T1 (P = 0.135), respectively. The association between exposure to ART during conception/T1 and birth defects remained nonsignificant in adjusted analyses, as did exposure to EFV versus non-EFV (adjusted odds ratio 0.61; 95% confidence interval: 0.36 to 1.03, P = 0.067). Among the 21 birth defects in 19 infants on EFV, no neural tube defects were reported.

Conclusions Prevalence of birth defects after exposure to EFV-based compared with non-EFV-based ART in conception/T1 was not statistically different in this multicohort study, and even lower. EFV is at least as safe as other ART drugs currently recommended for antenatal use.


Mar, 2019

Predictors of faster virological suppression in early treated infants with perinatal HIV from Europe and Thailand


Authors:Chan MK, Goodall R, Judd A, et al.

Published in: Aids. 2019

Objective To identify predictors of faster time to virological suppression among infants starting combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) early in infancy.

Design Cohort study of infants from Europe and Thailand included in studies participating in the European Pregnancy and Paediatric HIV Cohort Collaboration (EPPICC).

Methods Infants with perinatal HIV starting cART aged <6 months with ≥1 viral load (VL) measurement within 15 months of cART initiation were included. Multivariable interval-censored flexible parametric proportional hazards models were used to assess predictors of faster virological suppression, with timing of suppression assumed to lie in the interval between last VL≥400 and first VL<400copies/ml.

Results Of 420 infants, 59% were female and 56% from Central/Western Europe, 26% UK/Ireland, 15% Eastern Europe and 3% Thailand; 46% and 54% started a boosted protease inhibitor- or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor- based regimen, respectively. At cART initiation, the median age, CD4% and VL were 2.9 (IQR:1.4-4.1) months, 34 (IQR:24-45)% and 5.5 (IQR:4.5-6.0) log10copies/ml, respectively. Overall, an estimated 89% (95%CI:86-92%) achieved virological suppression within 12 months of cART start. In multivariable analysis, younger age (aHR:0.84 per month older; P < 0.001), higher CD4% (aHR:1.11 per 10% higher; P = 0.010) and lower log10 VL (aHR:0.85 per log10 higher; P < 0.001) at cART initiation independently predicted faster virological suppression.

Conclusion We observed a significant independent effect of age at cART initiation, even within a narrow 6 months window from birth. These findings support the earliest feasible cART initiation in infants and suggest that early therapy influences key virological and immunological parameters that could have important consequences for long term health.