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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2006 Aug;22(8):788-95.

Mucosal innate immune factors in the female genital tract are associated with vaginal HIV-1 shedding independent of plasma viral load.

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  • 1Laboratory Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


Recent studies indicate that mucosal innate immune factors modulate HIV-1 infection in vitro. Our interest was to examine the levels of innate mucosal factors for their potential association with HIV-1 shedding in the female genital tract. Vaginal lavages were collected from HIV-1-infected women who had vaginal viral loads (VVL) that were below, within, or above the 90% confidence interval (CI) predicted by their matched plasma viral loads. Innate immune factors [cathepsin D, lactoferrin (Lf), myeloid related protein (MRP)-8, MRP-8/14, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor, and gp340], cytokines (IL-1beta and TNF-alpha), and chemokines (MIP-1alpha, MIP-1beta, RANTES, and SDF-1alpha) were quantified by ELISA. Leukocyte levels were determined using a leukocyte reagent strip for urinalysis. Lf, MRP-8/14, gp340, and IL-1beta levels were significantly higher in vaginal lavages above the 90% CI and generally correlated with each other and with VVL. Leukocyte levels were significantly higher in the lavages that had virus shedding above the 90% CI and correlated strongly with Lf levels and VVL. In this group of women, these results suggest that the levels of certain innate immune factors are more closely associated with HIV-1 shedding in the genital mucosa than plasma virus concentrations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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