Crabtree, Kay L., PhD, RN

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    Risk factors for early childhood infection of human herpesvirus-8 in Zambian children: The role of early childhood feeding practices
    (American Association for Cancer Research, 2014-02) Crabtree, Kay L.; Wojcicki, Janet M.; Minhas, Veenu; Smith, David R.; Kankasa, Chipepo; Mitchell, Charles D.; Wood, Charles
    BACKGROUND: Human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) infection in early childhood is common throughout sub-Saharan Africa with prevalence increasing throughout childhood. Specific routes of transmission have not been clearly delineated, though HHV-8 is present in high concentrations in saliva. METHODS: To understand the horizontal transmission of HHV-8 within households to children, we enrolled for cross-sectional analysis, 251 households including 254 children, age two and under, in Lusaka, Zambia. For all children, plasma was screened for HHV-8 and HIV type I (HIV-1) and health and behavioral questionnaires were completed. Multilevel logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess independent factors for HHV-8 infection in children. RESULTS: Risk factors for HHV-8 infection included increasing number of HHV-8-positive household members [OR = 2.5; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.9-3.3; P < 0.01] and having a primary caregiver who tested the temperature of food with their tongue before feeding the child (OR = 2.4; 95% CI, 1.93-3.30; P =0.01). Breastfeeding was protective against infection with HHV-8 for children (OR= 0.3; 95% CI, 0.16-0.72; P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that exposure to HHV-8 in the household increases risk for early childhood infection, with specific feeding behaviors likely playing a role in transmission. IMPACT: Interventions to protect children from infection should emphasize the possibility of infection through sharing of foods.
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    Association of household food- and drink-sharing practices with human herpesvirus 8 seroconversion in a cohort of Zambian children
    (Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2017-10-17) Crabtree, Kay L.; Wood, Charles; Wojcicki, Janet M.; Minhas, Veenu; Kankasa, Chipepo; Mitchell, Charles
    Background: Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) infection occurs in early childhood and is associated with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection and risk for Kaposi sarcoma, but behaviors associated with HHV-8 transmission are not well described. Methods: We enrolled and followed a prospective cohort of 270 children and their household members to investigate risk factors for HHV-8 transmission in Lusaka, Zambia. Results: We report an incidence of 30.07 seroconversions per 100 child-years. Independent risk factors for HHV-8 incident infection included having a child who shared utensils with a primary caregiver (hazards ratio [HR], 2.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.49-7.14), having an increasing number of HHV-8-infected household members (HR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.09-2.79), and having >/=5 siblings/children in the household (HR, 2.24; 95% CI, 1.03-4.88). Playing with >5 children a day was protective against infection (HR, 0.54; 95% CI, .33-0.89), as was increasing child age (HR, 0.96; 95% CI, .93-.99). Conclusions: This is the first study to find a temporal association between limited child feeding behaviors and risk for HHV-8 infection. Child food- and drink-sharing behaviors should be included in efforts to minimize HHV-8 transmission, and households with a large number of siblings should receive additional counseling as childhood infections occur in the home context.