• Journal Article

Laboratory indicators of mastitis are not associated with elevated HIV-1 DNA loads or predictive of HIV-1 RNA loads in breast milk

Citation

Gantt, S., Shetty, A. K., Seidel, K. D., Matasa, K., Musingwini, G., Woelk, G., ... Frenkel, L. M. (2007). Laboratory indicators of mastitis are not associated with elevated HIV-1 DNA loads or predictive of HIV-1 RNA loads in breast milk. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 196(4), 570-576. DOI: 10.1086/519843

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV-1 has been associated with symptomatic and asymptomatic mastitis and with the quantity of HIV-1 RNA and DNA in maternal milk. An improved understanding of the relationship between indicators of inflammation and HIV-1 loads in breast milk could improve MTCT prevention strategies. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, laboratory indicators of mastitis (breast milk sodium [Na(+)] concentration, sodium : potassium ratio [Na(+) : K(+)], and leukocyte count) were related to breast milk HIV-1 RNA and DNA loads and were evaluated for predicting viral loads in milk. RESULTS: Mastitis was present in 63 (15%) of 407, 60 (15%) of 407, and 76 (18%) of 412 milk specimens, as defined by Na(+) concentration >12 mmol/L, Na(+) : K(+) >1, and total leukocyte counts > or =10(6) cells/mL, respectively. Each indicator was associated with an increased milk HIV-1 RNA load (P<.05) but not with HIV-1 DNA load. Neutrophils correlated better with milk HIV-1 RNA load than total leukocytes. However, neither neutrophil count, Na(+) concentration, nor Na(+) : K(+) displayed a threshold that was both sensitive and specific for the detection of HIV-1 RNA in milk at thresholds of > or =50 or > or =10(4) copies/mL. CONCLUSIONS: HIV-1 DNA loads in breast milk were not increased during mastitis. Neither milk cell counts nor electrolyte concentrations were useful predictors of milk HIV-1 RNA or DNA loads for individual women