Prevalence of HIV-1 DNA and p24 antigen in breast milk and correlation with maternal factors

Andrea J. Ruff, Jacqueline Coberly, Neal A. Halsey, Reginald Boulos, Julio Desormeaux, Ann Burnley, Delourdes Jules Joseph, Maureen McBrien, Thomas Quinn, Phyllis Losikoff, Katherine L. O’Brien, Marie Albert Louis, Homayoon Farzadegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Breast milk specimens from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-seropositive and HIV-1-seronegative women were examined for the presence of HIV-1 p24 antigen by the antigen capture method and for viral DNA using the polymerase chain reaction. HIV-1 DNA was present in 70% of milk specimens collected from 47 HIV-seropositive women 0-4 days after delivery and in 50% of specimens collected 6 and 12 months postpartum. p24 antigen, present in 24% of milk specimens collected from 37 seropositive women within the first 4 days postpartum, was not detected in any of the subsequent specimens. The presence of HIV-1 DNA or p24 antigen in milk was not significantly associated with maternal CD4 lymphocyte count, β2-microglobulin level, or fulfillment of the AIDS clinical case definition. Although the correlation of either HIV-1 pro viral DNA or p24 antigen with the presence of infectious virus is not known, these data indicate the need for additional studies examining the role of breastfeeding in maternal-infant transmission of HIV-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-73
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994


  • Breast milk
  • Breast-feeding
  • HIV-1 PCR
  • HIV-1 p24 antigen.
  • Maternal-infant HIV-1 transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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