Efficacy of HIV PCR techniques to diagnose HIV in infants born to HIV infected mothers at LASUTH
Background: There has been so many difficulties encountered in the diagnosis of HIV infection in infants <18 months of age born to HIV-infected mother. In these infants, definitive diagnosis can only be carried out by antigen based techniques which are expensive and not widely available in developing countries.
Objective: To generate information on the rate of mother to child transmission in Nigeria and to compare the efficacies of both the HIV-1 RNA and HIV-1 DNA PCR techniques in the diagnosis of this infections in infants.
Method: Ninety (90) whole blood samples were obtained from 45 HIV positive mothers and 45 infants born to these mothers from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos. The presence of HIV was determined using the Amplicor HIV-1 DNA test and an in- house RNAPCR method.
Results: All the infants were HIV antibody positive, however, only 5 infants were positive by HIV-1 DNA PCR, indicating an 11% rate of transmission from HIV positive mothers. Among the 5 infants positive by the DNA PCR, only 4 were positive for the in-house RNAPCR.
Conclusion: The 11% transmission rate recorded in this study was similar to that from mothers’ who had Nevirapine ART interventions and both the HIV-1 DNA test and the in- house RNA PCR tests were sensitive and specific in the diagnosis of infection in infants, depending on the level/state of HIV infection in infants.
Keywords: HIV Diagnosis, MTCT, PCR Techniques