Maternal biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction and pregnancy outcomes in women with and without HIV in Botswana


Pregnancy is a crucial time for both the mother and the baby’s health, and certain factors can affect how the pregnancy progresses. In this study conducted in Botswana, researchers looked at how HIV infection in pregnant women might influence specific markers in their bodies related to endothelial dysfunction, which is a condition that affects blood vessels’ ability to function properly.

The study involved two groups of pregnant women: those living with HIV and those without HIV. The researchers examined specific biomarkers in their blood samples to understand the state of their blood vessels during pregnancy. Endothelial dysfunction can lead to complications such as preeclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy.

The results of the study showed that pregnant women with HIV had differences in these biomarkers compared to pregnant women without HIV. This suggests that HIV may have an impact on the health of blood vessels during pregnancy. Lack of ART (or recent ART initiation) was also associated with increases in some of these markers.

Understanding the connection between HIV infection and endothelial dysfunction during pregnancy is essential, as it could help identify potential risks early on and guide healthcare providers in providing appropriate care to pregnant women with HIV. By managing endothelial dysfunction, it may be possible to reduce the risk of complications and improve pregnancy outcomes for both the mother and the baby.

However, it’s important to note that this research is just one piece of the puzzle, and further studies are needed to fully grasp the complexities of how HIV affects pregnancy. Nevertheless, this study contributes valuable information to the field of maternal health and offers potential avenues for improving prenatal care for women with HIV in Botswana and beyond.

SANTHE is an Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) flagship programme funded by the Science for Africa Foundation through the DELTAS Africa programme; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gilead Sciences Inc.; and the Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard.