Aug, 2019

Evaluating darunavir/ritonavir dosing regimens for HIV-positive pregnant women using semi-mechanistic pharmacokinetic modelling


Authors: Schalkwijk S, Ter Heine R, Colbers A, et al.

Published in: J Antimicrob Chemother. 2019;30 [Epub ahead of print]

Background Darunavir 800 mg once (q24h) or 600 mg twice (q12h) daily combined with low-dose ritonavir is used to treat HIV-positive pregnant women. Decreased total darunavir exposure (17%-50%) has been reported during pregnancy, but limited data on unbound exposure are available.

Objectives To evaluate total and unbound darunavir exposures following standard darunavir/ritonavir dosing and to explore the value of potential optimized darunavir/ritonavir dosing regimens for HIV-positive pregnant women.

Patients and Methods A population pharmacokinetic analysis was conducted based on data from 85 women. The final model was used to simulate total and unbound darunavir AUC0-τ and Ctrough during the third trimester of pregnancy, as well as to assess the probability of therapeutic exposure.

Results Simulations predicted that total darunavir exposure (AUC0-τ) was 24% and 23% lower in pregnancy for standard q24h and q12h dosing, respectively. Unbound darunavir AUC0-τ was 5% and 8% lower compared with post-partum for standard q24h and q12h dosing, respectively. The probability of therapeutic exposure (unbound) during pregnancy was higher for standard q12h dosing (99%) than for q24h dosing (94%).

Conclusion The standard q12h regimen resulted in maximal and higher rates of therapeutic exposure compared with standard q24h dosing. Darunavir/ritonavir 600/100 mg q12h should therefore be the preferred regimen during pregnancy unless (adherence) issues dictate q24h dosing. The value of alternative dosing regimens seems limited.


Apr, 2019

Incidence of switching to second-line antiretroviral therapy and associated factors in children with HIV: an international cohort collaboration


Authors: Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER) Global Cohort Collaboration.

Published in: Lancet HIV. 2019;6(2):e105-e115.

Background Estimates of incidence of switching to second-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) among children with HIV are necessary to inform the need for paediatric second-line formulations. We aimed to quantify the cumulative incidence of switching to second-line ART among children in an international cohort collaboration.

Methods In this international cohort collaboration study, we pooled individual patient-level data for children younger than 18 years who initiated ART (two or more nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors [NRTI] plus a non-NRTI [NNRTI] or boosted protease inhibitor) between 1993 and 2015 from 12 observational cohort networks in the Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER) Global Cohort Collaboration. Patients who were reported to be horizontally infected with HIV and those who were enrolled in trials of treatment monitoring, switching, or interruption strategies were excluded. Switch to second-line ART was defined as change of one or more NRTI plus either change in drug class (NNRTI to protease inhibitor or vice versa) or protease inhibitor change, change from single to dual protease inhibitor, or addition of a new drug class. We used cumulative incidence curves to assess time to switching, and multivariable proportional hazards models to explore patient-level and cohort-level factors associated with switching, with death and loss to follow-up as competing risks.

Findings At the data cutoff of Sept 16, 2015, 182 747 children with HIV were included in the CIPHER dataset, of whom 93 351 were eligible, with 83 984 (90·0%) from sub-Saharan Africa. At ART initiation, the median patient age was 3·9 years (IQR 1·6–6·9) and 82 885 (88·8%) patients initiated NNRTI-based and 10 466 (11·2%) initiated protease inhibitor-based regimens. Median duration of follow-up after ART initiation was 26 months (IQR 9–52). 3883 (4·2%) patients switched to second-line ART after a median of 35 months (IQR 20–57) of ART. The cumulative incidence of switching at 3 years was 3·1% (95% CI 3·0–3·2), but this estimate varied widely depending on the cohort monitoring strategy, from 6·8% (6·5–7·2) in settings with routine monitoring of CD4 (CD4% or CD4 count) and viral load to 0·8% (0·6–1·0) in settings with clinical only monitoring. In multivariable analyses, patient-level factors associated with an increased likelihood of switching were male sex, older age at ART initiation, and initial NNRTI-based regimen (p<0·0001). Cohort-level factors that increased the likelihood of switching were higher-income country (p=0·0017) and routine or targeted monitoring of CD4 and viral load (p<0·0001), which was associated with a 166% increase in likelihood of switching compared with CD4 only monitoring (subdistributional hazard ratio 2·66, 95% CI 2·22–3·19).

Interpretation Our global paediatric analysis found wide variations in the incidence of switching to second-line ART across monitoring strategies. These findings suggest the scale-up of viral load monitoring would probably increase demand for paediatric second-line ART formulations.


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.


Apr, 2019

Reactivity of routine HIV antibody tests in children with perinatally acquired HIV-1 in England: cross-sectional analysis


Authors: Fidler KJ, Foster C, Lim EJ, et al.; for Collaborative HIV Paediatric Study (CHIPS) Steering Committee

Published in: Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2019;38(2):146-148

Abstract We assessed HIV antibody prevalence in children with perinatally acquired HIV in England. Eighteen percent (10/55) of those starting combination antiretroviral therapy <6 months of age were seronegative at median age 9.1 years and had lower viral load at diagnosis and combination antiretroviral therapy start and fewer viral rebounds, than 45 of 55 seropositives. Implications for patient selection for HIV cure research, and interpretation of routine antibody testing, are discussed.


Apr, 2019

Accelerated aging in perinatally HIV-infected children: clinical manifestations and pathogenetic mechanisms


Authors: Chiappini E, Bianconi M, Dalzini A, et al.

Published in: Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2019;8:13

Background Premature aging and related diseases have been documented in HIV-infected adults. Data are now emerging also regarding accelerated aging process in HIV-infected children.

Methods A narrative review was performed searching studies on PubMed published in English language in 2004-2017, using appropriate key words, including “aging”, “children”, “HIV”, “AIDS”, “immunosenescence”, “pathogenesis”, “clinical conditions”.

Results Premature immunosenescence phenotype of B and T cells in HIV-infected children is mediated through immune system activation and chronic inflammation. Ongoing inflammation processes have been documented by increased levels of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPS), increased mitochondrial damage, higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and a positive correlation between sCD14 levels and percentages of activated CD8+ cells. Other reported features of premature aging include cellular replicative senescence, linked to an accelerated telomeres shortening. Finally, acceleration of age-associated methylation pattern and other epigenetic modifications have been described in HIV-infected children. All these features may favor the clinical manifestations related to premature aging. Lipid and bone metabolism, cancers, cardiovascular, renal, and neurological systems should be carefully monitored, particularly in children with detectable viremia and/or with CD4/CD8 ratio inversion.

Conclusion Aging processes in children with HIV infection impact their quality and length of life. Further studies regarding the mechanisms involved in premature aging are needed to search for potential targets of treatment.



Apr, 2019

Adult dolutegravir 50mg film-coated tablets in children living with HIV weighing 20 to <25 kg


Authors: Bollen P, Turkova A, Mujuru H, et al. for the ODYSSEY Trial Team

Published in: 26th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, March 4th – 7th, 2019– Seattle. P_830



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; 33(7):1155-1165

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.