Effect of Deworming on Disease Progression Markers in HIV-1–Infected Pregnant Women on Antiretroviral Therapy: A Longitudinal Observational Study From Rwanda

Jan 01, 2015; The Journal of Infectious Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciu715


Albendazole reduces viral loads and increases CD4 counts and hemoglobin levels in pregnant, HIV-1–infected women with helminth infections receiving antiretroviral therapy.

Background. Deworming human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy (ART) may be beneficial, particularly during pregnancy. We determined the efficacy of targeted and nontargeted antihelminth therapy and its effects on Plasmodium falciparum infection status, hemoglobin levels, CD4 counts, and viral load in pregnant, HIV-positive women receiving ART.

Methods. Nine hundred eighty HIV-infected pregnant women receiving ART were examined at 2 visits during pregnancy and 2 postpartum visits within 12 weeks. Women were given antimalarials when malaria-positive whereas albendazole was given in a targeted (n = 467; treatment when helminth stool screening was positive) or nontargeted (n = 513; treatment at all time points, with stool screening) fashion.

Results. No significant differences were noted between targeted and nontargeted albendazole treatments for the variables measured at each study visit except for CD4 counts, which were lower (P < .05) in the latter group at the final visit. Albendazole therapy was associated with favorable changes in subjects' hemoglobin levels, CD4 counts, and viral loads, particularly with helminth infections.

Conclusions. Antihelminthic therapy reduces detectable viral load, and increases CD4 counts and hemoglobin levels in pregnant HIV-infected women with helminth coinfections receiving ART.

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