Antiviral efficacy and safety of abacavir-containing combination antiretroviral therapy as first-line treatment of HIV-infected children and adolescents : a systematic review protocol
Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.
The original publication is available at http://www.systematicreviewsjournal.com/content/3/1/87
Adetokunboh, O.O., Schoonees, A. & Wiysonge, C.S. 2014. Antiviral efficacy and safety of abacavir-containing combination antiretroviral therapy as first-line treatment of HIV-infected children and adolescents: a systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews, 3(87), doi:10.1186/2046-4053-3-87.
Abstract Background: Abacavir is one of the recommended nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) for the treatment of HIV infections among children and adolescents. However, there are concerns that the antiviral efficacy of abacavir might be low when compared to other NRTIs especially among children. There are also concerns that abacavir use may lead to serious adverse events such as hypersensitivity reactions and has potential predisposition to developing cardiovascular diseases. Methods: We plan to do a systematic review to evaluate the antiviral efficacy and safety of abacavir-containing combination antiretroviral therapy as first-line treatment of HIV-infected children aged between 3 months and 18 years, compared with other NRTIs. We will search Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, and Web of Science databases for eligible studies regardless of language or publication status. We will check the reference lists of included studies, search relevant conference proceedings, email the authors of included studies and also look for unpublished and ongoing trials in prospective clinical trial registries. Two authors will independently screen search outputs, select studies, extract data and assess the risk of bias in included studies. All disagreements will be resolved by discussion and consensus. Where data allow, we will conduct meta-analysis for similar types of participants, study designs, interventions, and outcome measures. If the results are statistically homogeneous, we will use the fixed-effect model; otherwise, we will use the random-effects model and explore the reasons for heterogeneity using subgroup analyses. Heterogeneity will be assessed with the Chi-squared test and quantified with the I-squared statistic. Discussion: The findings will be useful to policy makers and programme managers to inform treatment and management of HIV in children and adolescents and to point out research gaps for future research. Trial registration: This review is registered with PROSPERO, registration number CRD42014009157.