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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2012 Oct 1;61(2):194-202.

Changes in the soluble mucosal immune environment during genital herpes outbreaks.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Genital tract secretions provide variable inhibitory activity against herpes simplex virus (HSV) ex vivo. We hypothesize that the anti-HSV activity may prevent the spread of virus from the more commonly affected sites, such as the external genitalia, to the upper genital tract.

METHODS:

The antimicrobial activity of cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) and concentrations of mucosal immune mediators were measured in 10 HIV-seronegative women with an active external herpetic lesion and compared with 10 HIV-seronegative women who were HSV-1 and HSV-2 seronegative. Samples were obtained at the time of a symptomatic external lesion (day 0), after 1 week of oral acyclovir (day 7), and 1 week after completing treatment (day 14). Controls were evaluated at parallel intervals.

RESULTS:

The anti-HSV activity was higher in CVL obtained from cases compared to controls at presentation (day 0) (54.3% vs. 28%), fell to similar levels on day 7, and then rebounded on day 14 (69% vs. 25%). The anti-HSV activity correlated positively and significantly with the concentrations of several inflammatory proteins; the concentrations of these proteins tended to be higher in cases compared with controls and followed a similar temporal pattern.

CONCLUSIONS:

Increases in inflammatory immune mediators and anti-HSV activity were detected in CVL at the time of clinical outbreaks and after completion of a short course of acyclovir. These mucosal responses may protect against HSV spread but could facilitate HIV infection and contribute to the clinical observation that, independent of clinical lesions, HSV-2 is a risk factor for HIV acquisition.

PMID:
22820806
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3685489
Free PMC Article
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