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J Infect Dis. 2006 Sep 15;194(6):751-9. Epub 2006 Aug 8.

Gonococcal lipooligosaccharide suppresses HIV infection in human primary macrophages through induction of innate immunity.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Gonorrhea often occurs as a coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Lipooligosaccharide (LOS) is a component of the gonococcal outer membrane that induces innate immunity through engagement of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). We investigated the effects that LOS from 5 different strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae have on HIV infection and on HIV provirus in primary human macrophages. LOS-treated human primary macrophages developed resistance to new HIV infection as well as to HIV provirus. Gonococcal LOS from the 5 strains and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Escherichia coli showed no significant difference in their anti-HIV activities. Suppression of HIV provirus resulted from the induction of interferon (IFN)-beta and subsequent activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1. Neutralization of IFN-beta , but not IFN-alpha , via antibody significantly reduced the anti-HIV activity induced by LOS and LPS. We conclude that LOS expressed by various strains of N. gonorrhoeae induce specific innate immune responses through TLR4 signaling, resulting in anti-HIV activity in human primary macrophages in vitro.

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