The neuropathology of HIV-infected African children in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1997 Jun;56(6):686-92.


In an autopsy study of HIV-infected children in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, the neuropathology of 76 HIV-1- and 2 HIV-2-positive children was compared with that of 77 frequency-matched HIV-negative children, in whom the systemic pathology was also known. Seventy of the 78 HIV-seropositive children were confirmed as HIV-infected, as determined by combined serology, IgA Western blots and clinicopathological criteria. The HIV-negative children showed a high background level (n = 49, 64%) of neuropathological abnormalities, including nonspecific inflammatory infiltrates, micromineralization, and bacterial and lymphocytic meningitis. In the HIV-positive children, HIV encephalitis was found in 4 (6%), cytomegalovirus in 2 (3%), toxoplasmosis in 3 (4%) and measles encephalitis in one (1%). Bacterial meningitis was equally common in both groups, but cerebral malaria was less common (n = 2, 3%) in HIV-positive than in HIV-negative children (n = 11, 14%). The low prevalence of HIV encephalitis may reflect comparatively early death in HIV infection in Africa as compared with our experience in Europe and the US.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / pathology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cote d'Ivoire / epidemiology
  • Encephalitis / etiology
  • HIV-1*
  • HIV-2*
  • Humans
  • Infant