Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type-1 and cytokines in colostrum from HIV-infected mothers in Burkina Faso

Maria Musumeci, Grazia Maria Palano, Piero Castronuovo, Virginio Pietra, Jacques Simpore, and Salvatore Musumeci.

J Infect Developing Countries 2007 ; 1(1):25-29.

Background : The colostrum of HIV-infected mothers contains a high number of HIV copies and is considered highly infectious. Furthermore it contains large numbers of macrophage and other mononuclear cells that are known to incorporate virus. While prevention protocols in Western countries suggest the interruption of breast feeding, at least for the first few months of life, this practice is not advisable in developing countries. Methodology : The aim of this study was to determine the HIV load and the concentrations of IL-18, IL-16, IL-12, TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta2 in the colostrum of HIV-infected mothers living in Burkina Faso. The women all received nevirapine prophylaxis during labour. Results : The viral load in the colostrum decreased rapidly during the first three days following delivery, while the concentration of IL-18 and IL-16 increased in the same period. IL-12, TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta2 did not show significant variations in the first three days after delivery. Conclusions : Since the viral load decreases in the colostrum of nevirapine-treated expectant mothers, our data suggest single dose nevirapine combined with interruption of early feeding may have potential as a way to reduce the risk of MTCT.

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