Combination antiretroviral therapy effective at reducing HIV resistance in mothers and babies

Oct 27, 2009

In a clinical trial investigating mother-to-child HIV transmission in South Africa published this week in PLoS Medicine, Neil Martinson (of the Perinatal HIV Research Unit, Soweto, South Africa) and colleagues find that adding two other antiretroviral drugs to single dose nevirapine - an antiretroviral drug given to women and newborn children during labor and delivery to prevent transmission - is effective in reducing the drug resistance that nevirapine causes when used by itself.

Such resistance can compromise later treatment regimens that include the same class of drug as nevirapine. The researchers report that the combination drug regimen — which involved the addition of a twice-daily dose of zidovudine and lamivudine over several days following a single-dose of nevirapine — is safe and easy to provide, and effective in reducing subsequent nevirapine resistance in both mothers and those babies that are infec ted despite antiretrovirals.

In a related Perspective, Dara Lehman (of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington) and colleagues, uninvolved with the research, say that assuming that there is not a large amount of lurking resistance not detected by the study, the approach may "strike the right balance of a feasible regimen that minimizes resistance" in resource-poor settings where combination antiretroviral therapy may not be available for longer-term use in pregnancy.

More information: McIntyre JA, Hopley M, Moodley D, Eklund M, Gray GE, et al. (2009) Efficacy of Short-Course AZT Plus 3TC to Reduce Nevirapine Resistance in the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission: A Randomized Clinical Trial. PLoS Med 6(10): e1000172. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000172

Source: Public Library of Science (news : web)

Explore further: Point-of-care CD4 testing is economically feasible for HIV care in resource-limited areas

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Breastfeeding now safer for infants of HIV-infected mothers

Feb 04, 2008

An antiretroviral drug already in widespread use in the developing world to prevent the transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their newborns during childbirth has also been found to substantially cut the risk of subsequent ...

Antenatal HIV

Nov 22, 2007

South Africa's Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) Programme has severe shortcomings that could be doing more harm than good. HIV patients are missing out on opportunities to receive a key intervention namely ...

Recommended for you

The genetics of coping with HIV

Sep 16, 2014

We respond to infections in two fundamental ways. One, which has been the subject of intensive research over the years, is "resistance," where the body attacks the invading pathogen and reduces its numbers. Another, which ...

Long acting HIV drugs to be developed

Sep 11, 2014

HIV drugs which only need to be taken once a month are to be developed at the University of Liverpool in a bid to overcome the problem of 'pill fatigue'.

Puerto Rico partners on US HIV vaccine project

Sep 10, 2014

Puerto Rico's governor says the island's largest public university is partnering with federal agencies to oversee a U.S.-funded project aimed at trying to develop a prophylactic vaccine for the HIV virus that causes AIDS.

User comments : 0