The University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZ-CHS) BIRTH COHORT study: rationale, design and methods

Kerina Duri, the UZ-CHS Birth Cohort Team, Felicity Z. Gumbo, Privilege T. Munjoma, Precious Chandiwana, Kudakwashe Mhandire, Asaph Ziruma, Andrew Macpherson, Simbarashe Rusakaniko, Exnevia Gomo, Benjamin Misselwitz, Lovemore Ronald Mazengera
2020 BMC Infectious Diseases  
Background Commencing lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) immediately following HIV diagnosis (Option B+), has greatly improved maternal-infant health. Thus, large and increasing numbers of HIV-infected women are on ART during pregnancy, a situation concurrently increasing numbers of HIV-exposed-uninfected (HEU) infants. Compared to their HIV-unexposed-uninfected (HUU) counterparts, HEU infants show higher rates of adverse birth outcomes, mortality, infectious/non-communicable diseases
more » ... ng impaired growth and neurocognitive development. There is an urgent need to understand the impact of HIV and early life ART exposures, immune-metabolic dysregulation, comorbidities and environmental confounders on adverse paediatric outcomes. Methods Six hundred (600) HIV-infected and 600 HIV-uninfected pregnant women ≥20 weeks of gestation will be enrolled from four primary health centres in high density residential areas of Harare. Participants will be followed up as mother-infant-pairs at delivery, week(s) 1, 6, 10, 14, 24, 36, 48, 72 and 96 after birth. Clinical, socio-economic, nutritional and environmental data will be assessed for adverse birth outcomes, impaired growth, immune/neurodevelopment, vertical transmission of HIV, hepatitis-B/C viruses, cytomegalovirus and syphilis. Maternal urine, stool, plasma, cord blood, amniotic fluid, placenta and milk including infant plasma, dried blood spot and stool will be collected at enrolment and follow-up visits. The composite primary endpoint is stillbirth and infant mortality within the first two years of life in HEU versus HUU infants. Maternal mortality in HIV-infected versus -uninfected women is another primary outcome. Secondary endpoints include a range of maternal and infant outcomes. Sub-studies will address maternal stress and malnutrition, maternal-infant latent tuberculosis, Helicobacter pylori infections, immune-metabolomic dysregulation including gut, breast milk and amniotic fluid dysbiosis. Discussion The University of Zimbabwe-College of Health-Sciences-Birth-Cohort study will provide a comprehensive assessment of risk factors and biomarkers for HEU infants' adverse outcomes. This will ultimately help developing strategies to mitigate effects of maternal HIV, early-life ART exposures and comorbidities on infants' mortality and morbidity. Trial registration Identifier: NCT04087239. Registered 12 September 2019.
doi:10.1186/s12879-020-05432-6 pmid:33008316 fatcat:cjteffgxqfgn5kybctnor5e7re