Inflammatory Markers Related to Microbial Translocation Among HIV-Infected Pregnant Women: A Risk Factor of Preterm Delivery

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Background. This study was performed to assess the role of lipopolysaccharide modulators as a marker of microbial translocation among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected women during pregnancy and to evaluate their association with preterm delivery.

Methods. The study had a prospective cohort design and was performed at the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, Spain. Thirty-six pregnant women with and 36 without HIV infection, matched on the basis of age and parity, were included. Maternal blood samples were obtained during the first trimester, during the third trimester, and at delivery. Levels of soluble CD14 (sCD14), human lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP), immunoglobulin M endotoxin core antibodies to lipopolysaccharide (EndoCAb), and interleukin 6 (IL-6) were determined. Fetal cord blood levels of sCD14, LBP, and IL-6 were determined. Results were compared between groups.

Results. First trimester sCD14 and LBP levels and third trimester sCD14 levels were significantly higher in the HIV-infected group. HIV-infected women with preterm births and spontaneous preterm births had significantly increased levels of sCD14 throughout pregnancy and significantly increased levels of LBP during the first trimester, compared with HIV-infected women with delivery at term or with HIV-negative women. On multivariate analysis, an independent association was observed between first trimester sCD14 levels and preterm delivery among HIV-infected women.

Conclusions. This is the first study to assess inflammatory markers related to microbial translocation during pregnancy among HIV-infected women. Higher levels of sCD14 and LBP were observed in HIV-infected pregnant women and were associated with preterm delivery.

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