Advertisement covers CROI 2013

Mississippi Baby Cured: One Study Whose Impact Will Last Well Beyond CROI 2013

March 14, 2013

Much has already been discussed and written about the remarkable case of this infant girl born in Mississippi to an HIV-infected, but undiagnosed, woman who also didn't get any prenatal care; but if you haven't yet heard:

The mother was confirmed to have HIV infection by rapid test at delivery, and later shown to have wild-type, subtype-B virus and an HIV viral load of 2,434 copies/mL. Intravenous zidovudine (AZT, Retrovir) during delivery was not administered and the baby was born by spontaneous vaginal delivery. The infant was started immediately (at ~30 hours) on triple-drug therapy (oral nevirapine [Viramune] plus zidovudine and lamivudine [3TC, Epivir]) and HIV infection was confirmed with DNA and RNA tests (plasma viral load 19,812 copies/mL) that were initially conducted at 30 and 31 hours of age, respectively. Three additional HIV RNA tests performed at days 7, 12 and 20 were positive, and demonstrated the typical viral decay kinetics under HAART. The child's HIV RNA became undetectable at day 29 of life.


The mother stopped infant antiretroviral therapy (ART) around month 18 and the child was lost to follow-up until month 23. All subsequent 16 HIV RNA tests were undetectable, despite the absence of ART. HIV ELISA and Western blot tests remained negative. Further analysis using ultrasensitive RNA and DNA analyses and attempts to recover infectious virus from resting CD4+ cells were negative; both the mother and child had wild-type CCR5 genotype.

This remarkable case suggests that the child was HIV infected: Her persistent viremia early in life suggests that infection was effectively established, while multiple analyses off of ART that failed to detect virus suggest cure. It's possible that very early triple-drug treatment offered to infants of HIV-infected mothers might prevent establishment of a latent reservoir. If confirmed, the strategy will transform the care of HIV-exposed infants and possibly achieve cure in many.

While it looks clear that the infant HIV infection has cleared, it is not so clear that HIV infected the infant reservoirs. Actually, newborns lack long-lived memory cells that are responsible for HIV integration, as was explained in a brilliant talk by Robert Siliciano.

Which other studies presented at CROI 2013 will have lasting impact long after memories of the conference itself have faded? Read more of Dr. Llibre and Dr. Young's top picks.

Copyright © 2013 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Related Stories

No Proof of New HIV Cure, Despite Headlines -- Here's What We Know
The Only Cases of HIV Cure or Remission
Beyond the Berlin Patient: How Researchers Are Now Trying to Cure More HIV-Positive People (Video)
What Would an HIV Cure Mean for You?

This article was provided by TheBodyPRO. It is a part of the publication The 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2013).

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:

Please note: Knowledge about HIV changes rapidly. Note the date of this summary's publication, and before treating patients or employing any therapies described in these materials, verify all information independently. If you are a patient, please consult a doctor or other medical professional before acting on any of the information presented in this summary. For a complete listing of our most recent conference coverage, click here.


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.