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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2006 Feb 1;41(2):249-51.

Increased risk of intrauterine transmission of HIV-1 associated with granulocyte elastase in endocervical mucus.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia.



One of the remaining challenges in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV is to reduce the risk of the transmission during pregnancy. It remains to be investigated which factors affect intrauterine HIV transmission and how they can be identified and addressed during pregnancy.


Granulocyte elastase in the endocervical mucus of HIV-positive pregnant women in Zambia was measured, and its association with intrauterine transmission of HIV-1 from the mother to the fetus was investigated.


The intrauterine transmission rate determined by polymerase chain reaction assay of DNA from neonates at birth was 15.3%. The risk for intrauterine transmission was 8.65-fold higher in women who were positive for granulocyte elastase than in those who were negative.


We suggest that the women showing positive granulocyte elastase at delivery be strongly suspected of having and if having had chorioamnionitis during pregnancy, which could affect the intrauterine transmission of HIV.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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