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-1β and TNF-α), and chemokines (MIP-1α, MIP-1β, RANTES, and SDF-1α) were quantified by ELISA. Leukocyte levels were determined using a leukocyte reagent strip for urinalysis. Lf, MRP-8/14, gp340, and IL-1β 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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases