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Years: 2020 – 2021

Training Site: University of Zambia

Country: Zambia

Mentors: Jeff Stringer, MD; Bellington Vwalika, MD, MSc; Joni Price, MD, MSCR, MPH; Kristina De Paris, PhD

Title: “Microbial translocation in HIV-infected pregnant women and its association with preterm birth”

Program Objectives:

Aim 1: To investigate, in a nested case-control study, whether elevated plasma markers of microbial translocation (MT) among HIV-infected women in the early second trimester of pregnancy are predictive of spontaneous preterm delivery <37 weeks’ gestational age, and whether HIV infection is associated with higher levels of MT biomarkers compared to uninfected women in Zambia.
Hypothesis: HIV infection will be associated with increased MT biomarkers, and increased MT biomarkers will be associated with preterm delivery.

Aim 2: To evaluate the association between MT biomarker levels in HIV-infected pregnant women and timing of initiation of ART therapy relative to gestational age, and to explore the association between severity of HIV infection—quantified by CD4 count and viral load—and evidence of MT in pregnancy.
Hypothesis: Severity of HIV infection and timing of initiation of ART therapy will not be predictive of MT biomarker levels.


Maggie Conner headshot