BACKGROUND: A prospective study was carried out in pregnant women seropositive for HIV-1 who wished to interrupt the pregnancy with the aim of detecting the specific sequences of DNA in fetal blood obtained by cordocentesis during the second trimester of pregnancy. METHODS: The samples of fetal blood were obtained by cordocentesis with the Kleihauer's test being performed to discard contamination of maternal blood. In both maternal and fetal blood the HIV-1 antibodies, Western blot, p-24 antigen and hematologic parameters were determined. The DNA-HIV-1 sequences were determined by double PCR. Fifteen pregnant women were included in the study with one patient being excluded upon detection of contamination of fetal blood with maternal blood. In 8 cases the study could not be completed due to lack of material. RESULTS: The specific sequences of DNA of HIV were detected in the six pregnant women and in three of the six fetuses studied. The anti-HIV-1 antibodies were present in all the samples of maternal and fetal blood with the bands of antibodies by Western blot being identical for each mother-fetus pair. No differences were observed in the mother-fetus pair. No differences were observed in the hematologic parameters or in the lymphocytic subpopulations among the fetuses with positive DNA sequences and those which demonstrated a negative result. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary results suggest that fetal infection by HIV-1 may be produced during pregnancy. Cordocentesis may be useful for determining the fetus which are infected in utero although this must be restricted to patients who wish to terminate the pregnancy due to the potential risk of infecting a previously healthy fetus.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1994|