Article abstract


Introduction: seventy percent of an estimated 10 million children less than five years of age in developing countries die each year of acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea, measles, malaria, malnutrition or a combination of these conditions. Children living with Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are at risk of diarrhoea because of drug interactions with antiretroviral therapy and bottle feeding. This may be aggravated by malnutrition and other infectious diseases which are frequent in children living with HIV. Objective: to evaluate treatment interventions for diarrhoea in HIV infected and exposed children.

 

Methods: a comprehensive search was conducted on 02 June 2016 to identify relevant studies for inclusion. We included randomised controlled trials of HIV infected or exposed children under 15 years of age with diarrhoea. Two authors independently selected studies for inclusion, assessed risk of bias (RoB) and extracted data using a pre-designed data extraction form.

 

Results: we included two studies (Amadi 2002 and Mda 2010) that each enrolled 50 participants. The RoB was assessed as low-risk for both included studies. There was no difference in clinical cure and all-cause mortality between nitazoxanide and placebo for cryptosporidial diarrhoea in Amadi 2002. In Mda 2010, there was a reduction in duration of hospitalisation in the micronutrient supplement group (P < 0.005) although there was no difference in all-cause mortality.

 

Conclusion: there is low certainty evidence on the effectiveness of nitazoxanide for treating cryptosporidial diarrhoea and micronutrient supplementation in children with diarrhoea. Adequately powered trials are needed to assess micronutrients and nitazoxanide, as well as other interventions, for diarrhoea in HIV-infected and-exposed children.