Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate and the Vaginal Microbiome as Modifiers of Tenofovir Diphosphate and Lamivudine Triphosphate Concentrations in the Female Genital Tract of Ugandan Women: Implications for Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate/Lamivudine in Preexp

Author(s) Nicol, M.R.; Eneh, P.; Nakalega, R.; Kaiser, T.; Kabwigu, S.; Isingel, E.; Beksinska, M.; Sykes, C.; Fowler, M.Glenn; Brown, T.T.; Staley, C.; Matovu, F.Kiweewa
Journal Clin Infect Dis
Date Published 2020 Apr 10

BACKGROUND: Effective concentrations of antiretrovirals in the female genital tract (FGT) are critical for suppression of viral shedding or effective preexposure prophylaxis. The disposition of tenofovir diphosphate (TFV-DP) and emtricitabine triphosphate (FTC-TP) in the FGT have been previously described. Despite widespread use, however, lamivudine triphosphate (3TC-TP) exposure in the FGT is unknown. Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and vaginal dysbiosis have been implicated in increased risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition, but whether they alter TFV-DP or 3TC-TP exposure, and therefore compromise prevention efficacy, is unknown.

METHODS: Fifty premenopausal women living with HIV in Kampala, Uganda, and receiving daily tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/lamivudine were recruited. Ectocervical biopsies were obtained for quantification of TFV-DP and 3TC-TP using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing was performed on DNA extracted from vaginal swabs. Wilcoxon rank-sum was used to test for differences between contraceptive groups.

RESULTS: 3TC-TP concentrations were on average 17-fold greater than TFV-DP concentrations in cervical tissues. TFV-DP concentrations in cervical biopsies were 76% greater in DMPA users compared with women using nonhormonal contraception (n = 23 per group). Abundance of Lactobacillus in vaginal swabs was correlated with 3TC-TP concentrations in cervical tissues.

CONCLUSIONS: We found that TFV-DP concentrations were significantly greater in DMPA users compared with women using nonhormonal contraception, suggesting that prevention efficacy is unlikely to be compromised by DMPA use. Similar to reports of FTC-TP, 3TC-TP exposure was significantly greater than TFV-DP in cervical tissue and was correlated with abundance of Lactobacillus. These data support lamivudine as an option for preexposure prophylaxis.


DOI 10.1093/cid/ciz443
ISSN 1537-6591
Citation Clin Infect Dis. 2020;70(8):17171724.

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