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Virology. 2007 Dec 5;369(1):55-68. Epub 2007 Aug 22.

Human cytomegalovirus and human immunodeficiency virus type-1 co-infection in human cervical tissue.

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Department of Immunology/Microbiology, Rush University Medical Center, 1653 West, Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) infect the female genital tract. A human cervical explant model was developed to study single and dual infection by these viruses in the genital compartment. An HCMV strain expressing green fluorescent protein, and two clinical HCMV strains produced peak viral DNA copies at 14 to 21 days post-infection. Peak levels of HIV-1(Ba-L) p24 antigen occurred at 7 days post-infection. HIV-1(Ba-L) appeared to enhance HCMV in co-infected tissues. Singly and dually infected explants produced increased levels of cytokines IL-6, IL-8, and GRO-alpha in culture supernatants. Immunohistochemical and flow cytometric analysis showed HCMV infection of leukocytes with the phenotype CD45+/CD1a+/CD14+/HLA-DR+ but not stromal or endothelial cells. Cells expressing both GFP and HIV-1 p24 antigen were detected in co-infected tissues. The cervical explants provide an ex vivo human model for examining mechanisms of virus-virus interaction and pathogenesis in clinically relevant tissue.

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