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Covariate random effects on the CD4 count variation during HIV disease progression in women

Authors Tinarwo P, Zewotir T, North D

Received 8 November 2018

Accepted for publication 5 February 2019

Published 20 May 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 119—131


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bassel Sawaya

Partson Tinarwo, Temesgen Zewotir, Delia North

School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Purpose: To investigate the variation in CD4 count between HIV positive patients due to clinical covariates at each phase of the HIV disease progression.
Patients and methods: The Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) conducted different studies in which female patients were initially enrolled in HIV negative cohorts (phase 1). Seroconverts were further followed-up weekly to fortnightly visits up to 3 months (phase 2: acute infection), monthly visits from 3 to 12 months (phase 3: early infection), quarterly visits thereafter (phase 4: established infection) until antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation (phase 5).
Results: Eighteen out of the 46 CD4 count covariates investigated were significant. Low average CD4 counts at acute and early phase entry improved at a faster rate than entries at higher average CD4 count. During therapy, all the 18 covariates induced significantly different patients’ average CD4 counts. The rate of change of CD4 count greatly varied in response to lactate dehydrogenase during the acute phase. Red blood cells increase resulted in the patients’ CD4 counts approaching a common higher level during the early phase. During therapy, the already high CD4 counts improved faster than lower ones in response to the red blood cells increase. As the monocytes increased, patients with lower average CD4 counts became worse than those with higher average CD4 counts.
Conclusion: Changes in the covariates measurements either induced no variation effects in certain phases or improved the CD4 count at a faster rate for those patients whose average CD4 was already high or worsen the CD4 level which was already low or caused the patients’ CD4 counts to approach the same level – higher or lower than the general cohort. The studied covariates induced wide variations in the CD4 count between HIV positive patients during the ART phase.

Keywords: parallel plot, redundant features, partial least squares, mixOmics, mixed models, between variation

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