Duration of Influenza Virus Shedding among HIV-Infected Adults in the cART Era, 2010-2011

Pragna Patel, Timothy Bush, E. Milu Kojic, Edgar T. Overton, Keith Henry, Nur Önen, Frank Rhame, Lois Conley, John T. Brooks, Alicia Fry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The duration of influenza virus shedding in HIV-infected adults is unknown and could affect quarantine and treatment recommendations. Participants were monitored for influenza-like illness (ILI), defined as fever and cough or sore throat, using weekly telephone audio computer-assisted self-interviews. Those with ILI were further evaluated at three HIV specialty clinics. For those with influenza, we collected nasopharyngeal washes every 3 days after the date of confirmed influenza infection for 21-28 days; specimens underwent reverse transcriptase - polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and viral culture. Duration of influenza virus shedding was the interval from the date of onset (day 0) of ILI to the date of last culture-positive specimen. Characteristics were compared between patients with and without influenza using Fisher's exact test. We used the Wilcoxon rank-sum test to examine factors that may have affected influenza virus shedding. From October 2010 to April 2011, we enrolled 961 participants in syndromic surveillance and diagnosed 20 patients with influenza whose characteristics were as follows: median age 48 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 43-53), 60% male, 50% non-Hispanic black, 95% had been prescribed combination highly active antiretroviral therapy (cART), 85% were virologically suppressed (HIV RNA <400 copies/ml), median CD4 cell count 317 cells/mm3 (IQR: 190-544), and median follow-up time 21 days (IQR: 19-22). Compared with persons without influenza, persons with influenza were more likely to be older, use injection drugs, and have a lower median CD4 cell count and were less likely to have had an influenza vaccination in the past 12 months. Median durations of shedding, PCR detection, and ILI symptoms were 3 (IQR: 0-5), 10 (IQR: 6-15), and 14 days (IQR: 12-26), respectively. Median days of shedding were similar among patients with and without any prior influenza vaccination (0 vs. 4, p = .448), HIV viral suppression (2 vs. 6, p = .053), and oseltamivir use (5 vs. 0, p = .083). HIV-infected persons on cART in our study shed influenza virus for a similar duration as that reported for HIV-uninfected persons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1180-1186
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contract numbers 200-2002-00610, 200-2002-00611, 200-2002-00612, 200-2002-00613, 200-2007-23633, 200-2007-23634, 200-2007-23635, and 200-2007-23636.


  • HIV
  • influenza
  • shedding

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