Comparison of auditory brainstem response in HIV-1 exposed and unexposed newborns and correlation with the maternal viral load and CD4R cell counts

Ayotunde James Fasunla, Babatunde Oluwatosin Ogunbosi, Georgina Njideka Odaibo, Onyekwere George Benjamin Nwaorgu, Babafemi Taiwo, David Olufemi Olaleye Kikelomo Osinusi, Robert Leo Murphy, Isaac Folorunso Adewole, Olusegun Olusina Akinyinka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: The effects of maternal HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy on hearing of HIV-exposednewborns in sub-Saharan Africa have not been investigated.Wedetermined the prevalence of sensorineural hearing loss among HIV-exposed newborns and the association between the hearing threshold and maternal and newborn parameters. Design: A cohort audiometric study of newborns between October 2012 and April 2013. Settings: A secondary and tertiary hospital-based study. Participants: Consecutive 126 HIV-exposed and 121 HIV-unexposed newborns. Intervention: Hearing screening of the newborns was done with Auditory Brainstem Response and compared with maternal HAART, CD4+ cell counts, RNA viral loads and newborn CD4+ cell count percentage. Main outcome measure: Hearing threshold levels of both groups were measured and analysed. Results: Around 11.1% of HIV-exposed and 6.6% of unexposed newborns had hearing impairment (P=0.2214). About 6.4% of HIV-exposed and 2.5% HIV-unexposed newborns had hearing threshold of more than 20 dBHL (P=0.1578). There was no significant association between the hearing thresholds of HIV-exposed newborns and maternal CD4 cell counts (P=0.059) but there was with maternal viral load (P=0.034). There was significant difference between the hearing thresholds of HIVexposed newborns with CD4+% of 25 or less and more than 25. This study showed significant difference in the hearing of the 119 HAART-exposed newborns and seven unexposed newborns [P=0.002; risk ratio, 0.13 (0.05-0.32)]. Conclusion: There was a trend towards more hearing loss in HIV-exposed newborns. However, hearing thresholds increase with increasing mothers' viral load. The background information supports the need for further studies on the role of in-utero exposure to HIV and HAART in newborn hearing loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2223-2230
Number of pages8
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2014


  • Auditory brainstem response
  • CD4<sup>+</sup> cell counts
  • HIV
  • Hearing loss
  • Hearing threshold
  • Viral loads

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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