Andrea A.Z. Kovacs, MD

Professor of Pediatrics, Pathology and Population and Public Health Sciences

Division Head of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Center for Infectious Diseases

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Dr. Kovacs is a Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology and the Founder and Director of LAC+USC’s Maternal, Child and Adolescent Center for Infectious Diseases and Virology (MCA). She is Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the LAC+USC Medical Center/Keck School of Medicine of USC. Dr. Kovacs has dedicated her career to developing new strategies to provide state-of-the-art clinical care to underserved populations using innovative strategies of integrated, multidisciplinary care combined with cutting edge clinical, translational and laboratory-based research at all levels of care to improve the outcomes of these patients, and to educate a new generation of clinicians and researchers to serve them.

Dr. Kovacs, is the principal investigator of the USC clinical trials unit for the NIH International, Maternal, Pediatric, and Adolescent Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) group and directs the MCA Research Laboratory, which is certified by the NIH, CLIA, CAP and the State of California to perform clinical trials and natural history studies. MCA research projects have included laboratory-based projects, clinical trials design and conduct, epidemiological studies that involve small and large cohorts and translational studies that go from the bench to bedside.

Dr. Kovacs has many years’ experience, dating to the first cases of acquired immunodeficiency virus (AIDS), in clinical and translational research studies with major emphasis on pathogenesis, transmission, treatment and prevention of human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human cytomegalovirus (CMV). Her current research focuses on understanding how viruses act together to alter the immune system and cause disease. Ongoing studies include the impact of HCV cure and liver disease on immune activation/dysregulation in reproductive aging HIV and HCV co-infected women and the role of CMV on “immunologic aging” in both children and adults. In infants, she is assessing what effect congenital or perinatal CMV infection has on the developing immune system.


  • Infectious Diseases Society of America: Fellow, 2014
  • American Pediatric Society : American Pediatric Society Fellow, 2011
  • Key Professional Media, Inc., Seattle, WA: Southern California Super Doctors, 2008
  • NIAID, NIH: NIAID, Department of Health & Human Services, AIDS Research Advisory Committee (ARAC), 2006-2010
  • Polling & Research Division, Aiken, SC: The Best Doctors in America, 2004


  • Surveillance of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 and Variants Using Digital Droplet Polymerase Chain Reaction at a Large University and Healthcare System in California Open Forum Infect Dis. 2023 Apr; 10(4):ofad147. . View in PubMed
  • Correlates of COVID-19 vaccination status among college students J Am Coll Health. 2023 Jan 03; 1-3. . View in PubMed
  • Characteristics associated with attitudes and behaviors towards mask wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic: The Trojan Pandemic Response Initiative BMC Public Health. 2023 10 11; 23(1):1968. . View in PubMed
  • Risk Factors for Perinatal Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus Obstet Gynecol. 2023 09 01; 142(3):449-456. . View in PubMed
  • Trust in science and scientists among university students, staff, and faculty of a large, diverse university in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trojan Pandemic Response Initiative BMC Public Health. 2023 03 30; 23(1):601. . View in PubMed
  • Longitudinal Assessment of the Enhanced Liver Fibrosis Score in the Era of Contemporary HIV and Hepatitis C Virus Treatment J Infect Dis. 2023 05 29; 227(11):1274-1281. . View in PubMed
  • Quantification of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Binding Antibody Levels To Assess Infection and Vaccine-Induced Immunity Using WHO Standards Microbiol Spectr. 2023 02 14; 11(1):e0370922. . View in PubMed
  • SARS-CoV-2 viral variants can rapidly be identified for clinical decision making and population surveillance using a high-throughput digital droplet PCR assay Sci Rep. 2023 05 10; 13(1):7612. . View in PubMed
  • Association between levels of receptor binding domain antibodies of SARS-CoV-2, receipt of booster and risk of breakthrough infections: LA pandemic surveillance cohort study Sci Rep. 2023 11 25; 13(1):20761. . View in PubMed
  • Characteristics associated with COVID-19 vaccination status among staff and faculty of a large, diverse University in Los Angeles: The Trojan Pandemic Response Initiative Prev Med Rep. 2022 Jun; 27:101802. . View in PubMed
  • Seroprevalence of Antibodies Specific to Receptor Binding Domain of SARS-CoV-2 and Vaccination Coverage Among Adults in Los Angeles County, April 2021: The LA Pandemic Surveillance Cohort Study JAMA Netw Open. 2022 01 04; 5(1):e2144258. . View in PubMed
  • White matter of perinatally HIV infected older youths shows low frequency fluctuations that may reflect glial cycling Sci Rep. 2021 02 04; 11(1):3086. . View in PubMed
  • Low Bioactive Vitamin D Is Associated with Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension in a Cohort of Pregnant HIV-Infected Women Sampled Over a 23-Year Period Am J Perinatol. 2020 12; 37(14):1446-1454. . View in PubMed
  • Zika, the Newest TORCH Infectious Disease in the Americas Clin Infect Dis. 2020 06 10; 70(12):2673-2674. . View in PubMed
  • Low maternal vitamin D is associated with increased risk of congenital and peri/postnatal transmission of Cytomegalovirus in women with HIV PLoS One. 2020; 15(2):e0228900. . View in PubMed
  • Association of HLA Genotype With T-Cell Activation in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and HIV/Hepatitis C Virus-Coinfected Women J Infect Dis. 2020 03 16; 221(7):1156-1166. . View in PubMed
  • Reproductive Aging and Hepatic Fibrosis Progression in Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Hepatitis C Virus-Coinfected Women Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Oct 30; 65(10):1695-1702. . View in PubMed
  • Systemic Immune Activation and HIV Shedding in the Female Genital Tract J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016 Feb 01; 71(2):155-62. . View in PubMed
  • Impact of Hepatitis C Virus on the Circulating Levels of IL-7 in HIV-1 Coinfected Women J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016 Feb 01; 71(2):172-80. . View in PubMed
  • Simultaneous plasma and genital pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of atazanavir and efavirenz in HIV-infected women starting therapy J Clin Pharmacol. 2015 Jul; 55(7):798-808. . View in PubMed
  • Effect of cytomegalovirus co-infection on normalization of selected T-cell subsets in children with perinatally acquired HIV infection treated with combination antiretroviral therapy PLoS One. 2015; 10(3):e0120474. . View in PubMed
  • T-cell activation, both pre- and post-HAART levels, correlates with carotid artery stiffness over 65 years among HIV-infected women in the WIHS. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2014 Nov 01; 67(3):349-56. . View in PubMed
  • Alteration of select gene expression patterns in individuals infected with HIV-1 J Med Virol. 2014 Apr; 86(4):678-86. . View in PubMed
  • Association of HIV clinical disease progression with profiles of early immune activation: results from a cluster analysis approach AIDS. 2013 Jun 01; 27(9):1473-81. . View in PubMed
  • The effect of prenatal highly active antiretroviral therapy on the transmission of congenital and perinatal/early postnatal cytomegalovirus among HIV-infected and HIV-exposed infants Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Sep; 55(6):877-84. . View in PubMed
  • T-cell activation and neurodevelopmental outcomes in perinatally HIV-infected children AIDS. 2012 May 15; 26(8):959-69. . View in PubMed
  • Permissive and protective factors associated with presence, level, and longitudinal pattern of cervicovaginal HIV shedding J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2012 May 01; 60(1):99-110. . View in PubMed
  • HIV/HCV co-infection: pathogenesis, clinical complications, treatment, and new therapeutic technologies Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2011 Mar; 8(1):12-22. . View in PubMed
  • Activation of CD8 T cells predicts progression of HIV infection in women coinfected with hepatitis C virus J Infect Dis. 2010 Mar 15; 201(6):823-34. . View in PubMed
  • Correlates of perinatal depression in HIV-infected women AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2009 Feb; 23(2):101-8. . View in PubMed
  • Early immune activation predicts central nervous system disease in HIV-infected infants: implications for early treatment Clin Infect Dis. 2009 Feb 01; 48(3):347-9. . View in PubMed
  • CD8(+) T cell activation in women coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and hepatitis C virus J Infect Dis. 2008 May 15; 197(10):1402-7. . View in PubMed
  • Factors associated with hepatitis C viremia in a large cohort of HIV-infected and -uninfected women J Clin Virol. 2008 Apr; 41(4):255-63. . View in PubMed
  • The insulin-like growth factor axis and risk of liver disease in hepatitis C virus/HIV-co-infected women AIDS. 2008 Feb 19; 22(4):527-31. . View in PubMed
  • Isolated hepatitis B core antibody is associated with HIV and ongoing but not resolved hepatitis C virus infection in a cohort of US women J Infect Dis. 2007 May 15; 195(10):1437-42. . View in PubMed
  • Evaluating the impact of hepatitis C virus (HCV) on highly active antiretroviral therapy-mediated immune responses in HCV/HIV-coinfected women: role of HCV on expression of primed/memory T cells J Infect Dis. 2006 May 01; 193(9):1202-10. . View in PubMed
  • The role of race and gender in T cell responses in children perinatally infected with HIV-1 J Infect Dis. 2005 Nov 15; 192(10):1683-5. . View in PubMed
  • Immune reconstitution after receipt of highly active antiretroviral therapy in children with advanced or progressive HIV disease and complete or partial viral load response J Infect Dis. 2005 Jul 15; 192(2):296-302. . View in PubMed
  • Pharmacokinetics of didanosine and drug resistance mutations in infants exposed to zidovudine during gestation or postnatally and treated with didanosine or zidovudine in the first three months of life Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2005 Jun; 24(6):503-9. . View in PubMed
  • HCV viremia is associated with drug use in young HIV-1 and HCV coinfected pregnant and non-pregnant women Addiction. 2005 May; 100(5):626-35. . View in PubMed
  • Reduced type 1 and type 2 cytokines in antiviral memory T helper function among women coinfected with HIV and HCV J Clin Immunol. 2005 Mar; 25(2):134-41. . View in PubMed
  • Association between syphilis, antibodies to herpes simplex virus type 2, and recreational drug use and hepatitis B virus infection in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Nov 01; 39(9):1363-70. . View in PubMed
  • Management of antiretroviral therapy in neonates, children, and adolescents Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2004 Jun; 1(2):97-104. . View in PubMed
  • HIV-1 and immune control: can we change the course of HIV-1? Lancet. 2004 Mar 13; 363(9412):833-4.. View in PubMed
  • Management of Antiretroviral Therapy in Neonates, Children, and Adolescents Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2003 Dec; 5(6):521-530. . View in PubMed
  • Correlates of immune activation marker changes in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive and high-risk HIV-seronegative women who use illicit drugs J Infect Dis. 2003 Jul 15; 188(2):209-18. . View in PubMed
  • Determinants of HIV-1 shedding in the genital tract of women Lancet. 2001 Nov 10; 358(9293):1593-601. . View in PubMed
  • Variation of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 viral RNA levels in the female genital tract: implications for applying measurements to individual women J Infect Dis. 2001 Nov 01; 184(9):1187-91. . View in PubMed
  • Incidence and determinants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection among persons with HIV: association with hospital exposure Am J Infect Control. 2001 Apr; 29(2):79-84. . View in PubMed
  • Incorporation of zidovudine into cord blood DNA of infants and peripheral blood DNA of their HIV-1-positive mothers Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000 Nov; 918:262-8. . View in PubMed
  • Effect of menstrual cycle on HIV-1 levels in the peripheral blood and genital tractWHS 001 Study Team. AIDS. 2000 Sep 29; 14(14):2101-7. . View in PubMed
  • The relative value of CD4 cell count and quantitative HIV-1 RNA in predicting survival in HIV-1-infected women: results of the women’s interagency HIV study AIDS. 1999 Sep 10; 13(13):1717-26. . View in PubMed
  • Cytomegalovirus infection and HIV-1 disease progression in infants born to HIV-1-infected womenPediatric Pulmonary and Cardiovascular Complications of Vertically Transmitted HIV Infection Study Group. N Engl J Med. 1999 Jul 08; 341(2):77-84. . View in PubMed
  • Incorporation of zidovudine into leukocyte DNA from HIV-1-positive adults and pregnant women, and cord blood from infants exposed in utero AIDS. 1999 May 28; 13(8):919-25. . View in PubMed
  • The mode of delivery and the risk of vertical transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1–a meta-analysis of 15 prospective cohort studies N Engl J Med. 1999 04 01; 340(13):977-87. . View in PubMed
  • Seasonality and factors associated with cryptosporidiosis among individuals with HIV infection Epidemiol Infect. 1998 Aug; 121(1):197-204. . View in PubMed
  • Incidence and factors associated with extrapulmonary cryptococcosis among persons with HIV infection in Los Angeles County AIDS. 1997 Apr; 11(5):673-9. . View in PubMed
  • Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection of the heart in three infants with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and sudden death Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1996 Sep; 15(9):819-24. . View in PubMed
  • PCP prophylaxis in paediatric HIV infection: time for a change? Lancet. 1994 Jul 02; 344(8914):5-6.. View in PubMed
  • Molecular and epidemiologic evaluations of a cluster of cases of Ménétrièr’s disease associated with cytomegalovirus Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1993 Dec; 12(12):1011-4. . View in PubMed
  • CD4 T-lymphocyte counts and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in pediatric HIV infection JAMA. 1991 Apr 03; 265(13):1698-703. . View in PubMed
  • Seroepidemiologic studies of cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus infections in relation to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection in selected recipient populationsTransfusion Safety Study Group. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr (1988). 1989; 2(6):540-9. . View in PubMed