Journal Article

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Combined Nevirapine and Zidovudine Compared with Nevirapine Alone in the Prevention of Perinatal Transmission of HIV in Zimbabwe

Paul Thistle, Rachel F. Spitzer, Richard H. Glazier, Richard Pilon, Gordon Arbess, Andrew Simor, Eleanor Boyle1, Inam Chitsike, Tsungai Chipato, Maureen Gottesman and Michael Silverman

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 44, issue 1, pages 111-119
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/508869
A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Combined Nevirapine and Zidovudine Compared with Nevirapine Alone in the Prevention of Perinatal Transmission of HIV in Zimbabwe

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Background. A single dose of nevirapine (sdNVP) administered to both mother and infant can decrease mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by 47%, compared with ultra-short course zidovudine therapy (usZDV). There is limited data about the benefit of usZDV added to sdNVP to prevent mother-to-child transmission.

Methods. We performed a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to determine whether usZDV combined with sdNVP improved neonatal outcome, compared with sdNVP alone. Mothers were randomized to 1 of 2 treatment groups. Mothers in the usZDV/sdNVP group received a loading dose of zidovudine (600 mg administered orally) and continued to receive 300-mg doses of zidovudine orally every 3 h while in labor, and their infants received zidovudine at a dosage of 2 mg per kg of body weight 4 times per day orally for 72 h. Mothers and infants in the sdNVP group received zidovudine placebo dosed in the same manner. All mothers also received nevirapine at a dosage of 200 mg orally while in labor, and all infants received nevirapine 2 mg per kg of body weight orally within 72 h of delivery.

Results. The study was stopped on the basis of futility, because interim data showed that, at present trends, superiority would not be demonstrated. Results at 6 weeks of age were available for 609 infants. The primary end point of HIV RNA positivity or death occurred in 21.8% of infants in the usZDV/sdNVP arm and 23.6% of the infants in the sdNVP arm.

Conclusion. usZDV, when added to a standard 2-dose regimen of sdNVP, did not demonstrate a clinically important decrease in the combined end point of mother-to-child transmission or infant death. High rates of adverse maternal and infant outcome in both study arms suggest that improved approaches are necessary.

Journal Article.  4271 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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