BACKGROUND: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected children have an eleven-fold risk of acute lower respiratory tract infection. This places HIV-infected children at risk of airway destruction and bronchiectasis.
OBJECTIVE: To study predisposing factors for the development of bronchiectasis in a developing world setting.
METHODS: Children with HIV-related bronchiectasis aged 6–14 years were enrolled. Data were collected on demographics, induced sputum for tuberculosis, respiratory viruses (respiratory syncytial virus), influenza A and B, parainfluenza 1–3, adenovirus and cytomegalovirus),
bacteriology and cytokines. Spirometry was performed. Blood samples were obtained for HIV staging, immunoglobulins, immunoCAP®-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) for common foods and aeroallergens and cytokines.
RESULTS: In all, 35 patients were enrolled in the study. Of 161 sputum samples, the predominant organisms cultured were Haemophilus influenzae and parainfluenzae (49%). The median forced
expiratory volume in 1 second of all patients was 53%. Interleukin-8 was the predominant cytokine in sputum and serum. The median IgE level was 770 kU/l; however, this did not seem to be related to atopy; 36% were exposed to environmental tobacco smoke, with no correlation between and CD4 count.
CONCLUSION: Children with HIV-related bronchiectasis are diagnosed after the age of 6 years and suffer significant morbidity. Immune stimulation mechanisms in these children are intact despite the level of immunosuppression.