Longitudinal Follow-Up of Blood Telomere Length in HIV-Exposed Uninfected Children Having Received One Year of Lopinavir/Ritonavir or Lamivudine as Prophylaxis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionChildren. 2021, 8 (9), 796. 10.3390/children8090796
Telomere shortening can be enhanced upon human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and by antiretroviral (ARV) exposures. The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute and long-term effect on telomere shortening of two ARV prophylaxes, lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) and lamivudine (3TC), administered to children who are HIV-exposed uninfected (CHEU) to prevent HIV acquisition through breastfeeding during the first year of life, and to investigate the relationship between telomere shortening and health outcomes at six years of age. We included 198 CHEU and measured telomere length at seven days of life, at week-50 and at six years (year-6) using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. At week-50, telomere shortening was observed among 44.3% of CHEU, irrespective of the prophylactic treatment. Furthermore, this telomere shortening was neither associated with poor growth indicators nor neuropsychological outcomes at year-6, except for motor abilities (MABC test n = 127, β = −3.61, 95%CI: −7.08, −0.14; p = 0.04). Safety data on telomere shortening for infant HIV prophylaxis are scarce. Its association with reduced motor abilities deserves further attention among CHEU but also HIV-infected children receiving ARV treatment.