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J Infect Dis. 2008 Sep 1;198(5):710-4. doi: 10.1086/590503.

Relationship between levels of inflammatory cytokines in the genital tract and CD4+ cell counts in women with acute HIV-1 infection.

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Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa.


Inflammatory responses at mucosal surfaces after human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission may influence disease outcome. We evaluated levels of interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, IL-8, IL-10, and IL-12 in genital tract and plasma specimens from 44 women with acute HIV infection and 29 HIV-negative control women (13 of whom were women in the acute HIV infection cohort who had preinfection samples available for analysis). Women with acute HIV infection had significantly elevated levels of IL-6, IL-10, and IL-12 in genital tract specimens and elevated levels of IL-1beta, IL-8, and IL-10 in plasma specimens, compared with HIV-negative control women. Levels of IL-1beta, IL-6, and IL-8 in cervicovaginal specimens from women with acute HIV infection showed a significant inverse correlation with systemic CD4(+) cell counts, suggesting that mucosal inflammation is associated with low CD4(+) cell counts during acute HIV infection.

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