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Maria Letícia Cruz - Top 30 Publications

Adolescents with HIV and transition to adult care in the Caribbean, Central America and South America, Eastern Europe and Asia and Pacific regions.

The HIV epidemics in the Caribbean, Central America and South America (CCASA), Eastern Europe (EE) and Asia and Pacific (AP) regions are diverse epidemics affecting different key populations in predominantly middle-income countries. This narrative review describes the populations of HIV-positive youth approaching adolescence and adulthood in CCASA, EE and AP, what is known of their outcomes in paediatric and adult care to date, ongoing research efforts and future research priorities.

Zika Virus Infection Associated With Congenital Birth Defects in a HIV-infected Pregnant Woman.

We describe a case of Zika virus infection acquired during the first trimester in a HIV-infected pregnant woman that led to multiple fetal malformations and fetal demise in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Zika Virus Infection Associated with Congenital Birth Defects in a HIV-Infected Pregnant Woman.

We describe a case of Zika Virus infection acquired during the first trimester in a HIV-infected pregnant woman that led to multiple fetal malformations and fetal demise in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Severe Vitamin D Deficiency in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Pregnant Women is Associated with Preterm Birth.

Background Low maternal vitamin D has been associated with preterm birth (PTB). Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected pregnant women are at risk for PTB, but data on maternal vitamin D and PTB in this population are scarce. Methods In a cohort of Latin American HIV-infected pregnant women from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development International Site Development Initiative protocol, we examined the association between maternal vitamin D status and PTB. Vitamin D status was defined as the following 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels: severe deficiency (< 10 ng/mL), deficiency (10-20 ng/mL), insufficiency (21-29 ng/mL), and sufficiency (≥30 ng/mL). PTB was defined as delivery at < 37 weeks' gestational age (GA). Logistic regression was used to assess the association between maternal vitamin D status and PTB. Results Of 715 HIV-infected pregnant women, 13 (1.8%) were severely vitamin D deficient, 224 (31.3%) were deficient, and 233 were (32.6%) insufficient. Overall, 23.2% (166/715) of pregnancies resulted in PTB (median GA of PTBs = 36 weeks [interquartile range: 34-36]). In multivariate analysis, severe vitamin D deficiency was associated with PTB (odds ratio = 4.7, 95% confidence interval: 1.3-16.8]). Conclusion Severe maternal vitamin D deficiency is associated with PTB in HIV-infected Latin American pregnant women. Further studies are warranted to determine if vitamin D supplementation in HIV-infected women may impact PTB.

Children and Adolescents with Perinatal HIV-1 Infection: Factors Associated with Adherence to Treatment in the Brazilian Context.

Challenges to the adherence to combination antiretroviral therapy among the pediatric population should be understood in the context of the trajectories of families, their interaction with healthcare services, and their access to material and symbolic goods. The present study analyzed individual, institutional and social factors that might be associated with the caregivers' role in the treatment adherence of children and adolescents living with HIV (CALHIV). Based on semi-structured interviews and questionnaires applied to 69 caregivers seen at pediatric AIDS services of five Brazilian macro-regions, we observed that adherent caregivers had better acceptance of diagnosis and treatment, were less likely to face discrimination and social isolation secondary to AIDS-related stigma and tended to believe in the efficacy of treatment, and to be more optimistic about life perspectives of CALHIV. Interventions aiming to improve adherence and to promote the health of CALHIV should take in consideration the interplay of such different factors.

Viral Suppression and Resistance in a Cohort of Perinatally-HIV Infected (PHIV+) Pregnant Women.

Our objective was to describe viral suppression and antiretroviral (ARV) resistance mutations in an ongoing cohort of perinatally-infected HIV+ (PHIV+) pregnant women. Descriptive analysis was performed using SPSS 18.0. From 2011 to 2014, we followed 22 PHIV+ pregnant women. Median age at prenatal entry was 19 years (Interquartile range (IQR) 17.6-21.0); 86% had an AIDS diagnosis; 81% had disclosed their HIV status to partner 11. The median age at HIV diagnosis was 8.3 y (IQR 4.0-13.6), the median age at sexual debut was 16 years (IQR 14-18). At the time of prenatal care initiation, four (18%) were on their first antiretroviral treatment (ART), eight (36%) in their second regimen and nine (41%) in their third regimen or beyond, and one had no data. Seventeen of 22 (77%) had HIV-viral load (VL) > 50 copies/mL at prenatal care entry, 16 had a genotyping exam performed. Seventeen of 22 PHIV+ had VL results near delivery: 7/17 (41%) had VL < 50 copies/mL. Among those who had genotyping at prenatal entry, 11/16 (69%) had mutations associated with ARV resistance. The most frequent major mutations were K103N, M184V, T215, M41L, D67N at reverse transcriptase gene and M46, I54V and V82A at protease gene. No vertical transmissions occurred. Management of pregnancy among PHIV+ is challenging. Individualized ART are needed to achieve viral suppression in a highly ART-exposed subpopulation.

Perinatally infected adolescents living with human immunodeficiency virus (perinatally human immunodeficiency virus).

The availability of highly potent antiretroviral treatment during the last decades has transformed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection into a chronic disease. Children that were diagnosed during the first months or years of life and received treatment, are living longer and better and are presently reaching adolescence and adulthood. Perinatally HIV-infected adolescents (PHIV) and young adults may present specific clinical, behavior and social characteristics and demands. We have performed a literature review about different aspects that have to be considered in the care and follow-up of PHIV. The search included papers in the MEDLINE database via PubMed, located using the keywords "perinatally HIV-infected" AND "adolescents". Only articles published in English or Portuguese from 2003 to 2014 were selected. The types of articles included original research, systematic reviews, and quantitative or qualitative studies; case reports and case series were excluded. Results are presented in the following topics: "Puberal development and sexual maturation", "Growth in weight and height", "Bone metabolism during adolescence", "Metabolic complications", "Brain development, cognition and mental health", "Reproductive health", "Viral drug resistance" and "Transition to adult outpatient care". We hope that this review will support the work of pediatricians, clinicians and infectious diseases specialists that are receiving these subjects to continue treatment.

Normal Growth of Healthy Infants Born from HIV+ Mothers Fed a Reduced Protein Infant Formula Containing the Prebiotics Galacto-Oligosaccharides and Fructo-Oligosaccharides: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

The aim of the current study was to evaluate the safety of a new reduced protein (2.1 g/100 kcal) infant formula containing 4 g/L of 90% galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) and 10% fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS).

Relationship between viral load and behavioral measures of adherence to antiretroviral therapy in children living with human immunodeficiency virus in Latin America.

Few studies have examined antiretroviral therapy adherence in Latin American children. Standardized behavioral measures were applied to a large cohort of human immunodeficiency virus-infected children in Brazil, Mexico, and Peru to assess adherence to prescribed antiretroviral therapy doses during the three days prior to study visits, assess timing of last missed dose, and evaluate the ability of the adherence measures to predict viral suppression. Time trends in adherence were modeled using a generalized estimating equations approach to account for possible correlations in outcomes measured repeatedly in the same participants. Associations of adherence with human immunodeficiency virus viral load were examined using linear regression. Mean enrollment age of the 380 participants was 5 years; 57.6% had undetectable' viral load (<400 copies/mL). At enrollment, 90.8% of participants were perfectly (100%) adherent, compared to 87.6% at the 6-month and 92.0% at the 12-month visit; the proportion with perfect adherence did not differ over time (p=0.1). Perfect adherence was associated with a higher probability of undetectable viral load at the 12-month visit (odds ratio=4.1, 95% confidence interval: 1.8-9.1; p<0.001), but not at enrollment or the 6-month visit (p>0.3). Last time missed any antiretroviral therapy dose was reported as "never" for 52.0% at enrollment, increasing to 60.7% and 65.9% at the 6- and 12-month visits, respectively (p<0.001 for test of trend). The proportion with undetectable viral load was higher among those who never missed a dose at enrollment and the 12-month visit (p≤0.005), but not at the 6-month visit (p=0.2). While antiretroviral therapy adherence measures utilized in this study showed some association with viral load for these Latin American children, they may not be adequate for reliably identifying non-adherence and consequently children at risk for viral resistance. Other strategies are needed to improve the evaluation of adherence in this population.

Vitamin A, vitamin E, iron and zinc status in a cohort of HIV-infected mothers and their uninfected infants.

Introduction: We hypothesized that nutritional deficiency would be common in a cohort of postpartum, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women and their infants.

Correlation between viral loads performed at 34-36 weeks and in the immediate postpartum period in HIV-infected pregnant women using HAART.

High rates of baseline antiretroviral resistance among HIV-infected pregnant women in an HIV referral centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In order to understand antiretroviral resistance during pregnancy and its impact on HIV vertical transmission, we performed a cross-sectional analysis of 231 HIV-infected pregnant women who fulfilled Brazilian guidelines for antiretroviral testing and had antiretroviral genotypic testing performed between April 2010 and October 2012. At entry into prenatal care, the mean CD4 cell count for this cohort of patients was 406 cells/mm(3) (95% CI: 373-438 cells/mm(3)), while the mean HIV RNA was 24,394 copies/ml (95% CI: 18,275-30,513 copies/ml). Thirty-six women (16%) had detectable antiretroviral-resistant mutations. By 34 weeks gestation, 75% had achieved HIV RNA <400 copies/ml. Our logistic regression model showed the odds of harbouring antiretroviral-resistant virus with a baseline CD4 cell count of <200 cells/mm(3) was eight times that of subjects with CD4 cell counts >500 CD4 cells/mm(3) (95% CI 1.5-42.73). Six infants were HIV infected, four born to mothers with detectable viraemia at 34 weeks and two born to mothers who were lost to follow up. Antiretroviral resistance is common in prenatal care but did not increase vertical transmission if viral load was appropriately suppressed. Genotyping should be considered in Brazil in order to assist initiation of appropriate combination antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy to suppress viral load to avoid vertical transmission.

The "moral career" of perinatally HIV-infected children: revisiting Goffman's concept.

HIV-infected children usually live in vulnerable situations, experiencing discrimination and stigma commonly felt by other people living with HIV/AIDS. The present study aims to analyse primary socialisation of HIV-infected children and adolescents recruited from a public health service in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) as a social process that shapes a new generation of stigmatised and vulnerable persons. Research was informed by an interactionist perspective, focusing on key aspects of HIV-infected children and adolescents life histories under the conceptual frame of Erving Goffman's theories regarding "moral careers". Goffman defines the making of a moral career as the process through which a person learns that she/he possesses a particular attribute, which may lead her/him to be discredited by members of the surrounding society. We have identified aspects of life histories of HIV-vertically infected children and adolescents for each aspect of "moral career" as described by Goffman, relating them to as family structure, the experience of living HIV within the family, and the position and family role of a given subject. The patterns of "moral career" proposed by Goffman in 1963 were useful in identifying components of HIV-related stigma among children and adolescents. These include gender and social disadvantages, difficulty in coping with a child with a potentially severe disease, orphanhood, abandonment, adoption and disclosure of one's HIV serostatus. Primary socialisation of HIV-infected children and adolescents is a key piece of the complex HIV/AIDS-labelling process that could be targeted by interventions aiming to decrease stigma and marginalisation. Health care workers and stakeholders should be committed to ensuring education and guaranteeing the legal rights of this specific population, including the continuous provision of quality health care, full access to school and support to full disclosure of HIV diagnosis.

Prevalence and predictors of elevated aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index in Latin American perinatally HIV-infected children.

Chronic liver disease has emerged as an important problem in adults with longstanding HIV infection, but data are lacking for children. We characterized elevated aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI), a marker of possible liver fibrosis, in perinatally HIV-infected children.

Group B Streptococcus in a cohort of HIV-infected pregnant women: prevalence of colonization, identification and antimicrobial susceptibility profile.

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a leading cause of infectious morbidity in newborns. We describe the prevalence of GBS colonization and the serotypes and antibiotic susceptibility profiles of isolates obtained from a cohort of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected pregnant women. This was a cross-sectional study at a centre for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Vaginal and rectal swabs were collected at 35-37 weeks of gestation from 158 eligible women. GBS isolates were serotyped and antimicrobial susceptibility tests performed. Patient sociodemographic characteristics, CD4 counts and viral loads were abstracted from records. The overall anogenital prevalence of GBS colonization was 49/158 (31.0%): 40/158 (25.3%) for vagina, 19/158 (12.0%) for rectum and 10/158 (6.3%) for both. Predominant serotypes were Ib (34.9%) and Ia (25.6%). All were penicillin-susceptible. Two were resistant to erythromycin (4.0%) and one to clindamycin (2.0%). The colonization rate by GBS was high in this cohort. Serotype Ib was the most frequently identified.

Randomized controlled trial of feeding a concentrated formula to infants born to women infected by human immunodeficiency virus.

We tested the hypothesis that concentrated formula (CF) begun within the first 2 weeks of life increases growth in infants born to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected mothers.

Association of Body Mass Index of HIV-1-Infected Pregnant Women and Infant Weight, Body Mass Index, Length, and Head Circumference: The NISDI Perinatal Study.

This study assessed the relationship between the body mass index (BMI) of HIV-1-infected women and their infants' perinatal outcomes. The study population consisted of women enrolled in the NICHD International Site Development Initiative (NISDI) Perinatal Study with data allowing calculation of the BMI adjusted for length of gestation (adjBMI), who delivered singleton infants. Outcome variables included infant growth parameters at birth (weight, BMI, length and head circumference) and gestational age. Of 697 women from Argentina, the Bahamas, Brazil and Mexico who were included in the analysis, the adjBMI was classified as underweight for 109 (15.6%), normal for 418 (60.0%), overweight for 88 (12.6%) and obese for 82 (11.8%). Median infant birth weight, BMI, birth length and head circumference differed significantly according to maternal adjBMI (P</=0.0002). Underweight mothers gave birth to infants with lower weight, lower BMI, shorter length and smaller head circumference, while infants born to normal, overweight and obese mothers were of similar size.

Congenital toxoplasmosis infection in an infant born to an HIV-1-infected mother.

We report the occurrence of congenital toxoplasmosis in an infant born to an HIV infected mother who had high anti-toxoplasma IgG and negative IgM at nine weeks of gestation. We briefly review available literature and discuss the possible mechanisms of transmission of congenital toxoplasmosis among HIV infected pregnant women.

Nevirapine toxicity in a cohort of HIV-1-infected pregnant women.

The purpose of this study was to complete an evaluation of nevirapine (NVP) toxicity in a cohort of HIV+ pregnant women.

Vertical transmission of HIV in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

A cohort of 297 HIV-infected pregnant women was followed from January 1996 to December 2001. The overall transmission rate was 3.57% and remained constant over time. Low birth-weight was independently associated with a higher risk of vertical transmission (P=0.0072), whereas a longer duration of antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy was independently associated with a lower risk of transmission (P=0.0084). Further decreases in transmission should be obtained by initiating prophylaxis earlier in pregnancy.