Seroprevalence of HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection among children diagnosed with protein-calorie malnutrition in Nigeria

G. D. Fischer, C. R. Rinaldo, D. Gbadero, L. A. Kingsley, O. Ndimbie, C. Howard, P. C. Montemayor, A. Langer, W. Sibolboro

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8 Scopus citations


Excessive weight loss due to protein calorie malnutrition (PCM) is a significant problem in Nigerian children. This syndrome may be difficult to differentiate from the wasting disease caused by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. We studied 70 children admitted to the Baptist Medical Center in Ogbomosho, Nigeria in 1990 with PCM for prevalence of antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2. The cohort was from low-risk mothers and had a median age of 25 months (range, 4 months–9 years) with a weight deficit of at least 20% of the theoretical weight for age. Two sera were positive for anti-HIV-1 by both ELISA and Western blot (WB). A high prevalence of samples negative for HIV-1 antibody by ELISA were repeatedly reactive (11%, 8/70) or indeterminate (46%. 32/70) by WB. None of the sera was positive for antibody to HIV-2. There was no correlation of ELISA positivity or extent of WB banding with successful recovery from malnutrition. These results indicate a relatively low but significant prevalence of HIV-1 infection in Nigerian children with PCM. The high prevalence of indeterminate reactions in WB assays for HIV-1 suggests that other procedures may be necessary for confirmatory diagnosis of HIY-1 infection in this African population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-378
Number of pages6
JournalEpidemiology and infection
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1993


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