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The effect of micronutrient supplementation on active TB incidence early in HIV infection in Botswana

Authors Campa A, Baum MK, Bussmann H, Martinez SS, Farahani M, van Widenfelt E, Moyo S, Makhema J, Essex M, Marlink R

Received 30 September 2016

Accepted for publication 12 May 2017

Published 14 July 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 37—45

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDS.S123545

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chandrika Piyathilake

Adriana Campa,1 Marianna K Baum,1 Hermann Bussmann,2 Sabrina Sales Martinez,1 Mansour Farahani,3 Erik van Widenfelt,2 Sikhulile Moyo,2,3 Joseph Makhema,2 Max Essex,2,3 Richard Marlink3

1Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA; 2Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana; 3The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

Background: Coinfection with active tuberculosis (TB) is one of the leading causes of death in people living with HIV (PLWH) in Africa. This investigation explores the role of micronutrient supplementation in preventing active TB in PLWH.
Methods: A randomized trial of nutritional supplementation was conducted among antiretroviral-
naïve (without previous antiretroviral treatment [ART]) HIV-infected people in Botswana between 2004 and 2009. The study had a factorial design with four arms: the selenium (Se) alone arm, the multivitamins (MVT) alone arm that contained vitamin B complex and vitamins C and E, the combined Se+MVT group and the placebo group. Those participants with prior or current active TB were excluded, as were participants with advanced HIV disease (CD4 <250 cells/µL) or who had already qualified for ART. HIV-positive adults (N=878) were followed monthly for study pill dispensation, every 3 months for CD4 cell count and every 6 months for viral load during 24 months or until they were started on ART.
Results: The participants’ characteristics were not significantly different among the four groups at baseline. Supplementation with Se alone (hazard ratio =0.20, 95% confidence interval: 0.04, 0.95, P=0.043) and the two combined SE groups (Se and Se+MVT) had significantly lower risk of developing incident TB disease compared with placebo in multivariate adjusted models (hazard ratio=0.32, 95% confidence interval: 0.11, 0.93, P=0.036). Multivitamins alone did not affect the incidence of TB. Isoniazid preventive therapy was received by 12.2% of participants, a rate that was not significantly different among the four study arms (P=0.122) and the newly diagnosed cases.
Conclusion: Se supplementation, alone and with MVT, decreased the incidence of TB disease in PLWH who were ART-naïve. Supplementation with these micronutrients should be considered in HIV infection, prior to ART, in areas where TB and malnutrition are endemic.

Keywords:
selenium, multivitamin, TB and HIV

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