Taha TE, Brown ER, Hoffman IF, Fawzi W, Read JS, Sinkala M, Martinson FE, Kafulafula G, Msamanga G, Emel L, Adeniyi-Jones S, Goldenberg RL
A multisite study was conducted in Africa to assess the efficacy of antibiotics to reduce mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV-1.
A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, phase III clinical trial.
HIV-1-infected women were randomly assigned at 20-24 weeks’ gestation to receive either antibiotics (metronidazole plus erythromycin antenatally and metronidazole plus ampicillin intrapartum) or placebo. Maternal study procedures were performed at 20-24, 26-30, and 36 weeks antenatally, and at labor/delivery. Infants were seen at birth, 4-6 weeks, and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. The primary efficacy endpoints were overall infant HIV-1 infection and HIV-1-free survival at 4-6 weeks. All women and infants received single-dose nevirapine prophylaxis in this study.
A total of 1510 live-born infants were included in the primary analysis. The proportions of HIV-1-infected infants at birth were similar (antibiotics 7.1%; placebo 8.3%; P = 0.41). Likewise, there were no statistically significant differences at 4-6 weeks in the overall risk of MTCT of HIV-1 (antibiotics 16.2%; placebo 15.8%; P = 0.89) or HIV-1-free survival (79.4% in each study arm). Post-randomization, the proportion of women with bacterial vaginosis at the second antenatal visit was significantly lower in the antibiotics arm compared with the placebo arm (23.8 versus 39.7%; P < 0.001), but the frequency of histological chorioamnionitis was not different (antibiotics 36.9%; placebo 39.7%; P = 0.30). Adverse events in mothers and their infants did not differ by randomization arm.
This simple antepartum and peripartum antibiotic regimen did not reduce the risk of MTCT of HIV-1