Rotavirus antigen, cytokine, and neutralising antibody profiles in sera of children with and without HIV infection in Blantyre, Malawi|
Hull, Jennifer J.; Cunliffe, Nigel; Jere, Khuzwayo C.; Moon, Sung-Sil; Wang, Yuhuan; Parashar, Umesh & Jiang, Baoming
Rotavirus and HIV infection are major causes of death among children in sub-Saharan Africa. A previous study reported no association between
concomitant HIV infection and rotavirus disease severity among hospitalised children in Malawi. This study examined rotavirus antigenaemia and
broader immune responses among HIV-infected and uninfected children.
Stored (−80°C), paired sera from acute and convalescent phases of Malawian children less than 5 years old, hospitalised for acute gastroenteritis
in the primary study, collected from July 1997 to June 1999, were utilised. Among children older than 15 months, HIV infection was defined as the
presence of HIV antibody in the blood, when confirmed by at least 2 established methods. For those younger than 15 months, nested polymerase
chain reaction (PCR) amplification of proviral DNA was used for verification. All were followed for up to 4 weeks after hospital discharge. Rotavirus
antigen levels in sera were measured with Premier™ Rotaclone® rotavirus enzyme immunoassay (EIA) kit. Acute-phase sera were examined for 17
cytokines, using Luminex fluorescent bead human cytokine immunoassay kit. Rotavirus-specific IgA and neutralising activity were determined by EIA
and microneutralisation (MN) assay, respectively. Human strains and bovine–human reassortants were propagated in MA104 cells with serum-free
Iscove’s Modified Dulbecco’s Medium (IMDM). Differences in results, from specimens with and without HIV infection, were analysed for statistical
significance using the chi-square test.
We detected rotavirus antigen in 30% of the HIV-infected and 21% HIV-uninfected, in the acute-phase sera. HIV-infected children developed slightly
prolonged rotavirus antigenaemia compared to HIV-uninfected children.
Rotavirus-specific IgA seroconversion rates and neutralising titres were similar in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected children, thus, HIV infection had
no major effect on immune responses to rotavirus infection.