Human immunodeficiency virus-1 specific and natural cellular immunity in HIV seronegative subjects with multiple sexual exposures to virus

E. Nicastri, L. Ercoli, L. Sarmati, G. d'Ettorre, P. Iudicone, P. Massetti, V. Vullo, M. Andreoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The probability of HIV infection by sexual contact, although it varies greatly, appears to be lower than that of infection by other routes of exposure. The aim of this study was to evaluate immunological determinants involved in protection against HIV infection in subjects with multiple and repeated sexual exposures to the virus. Twenty-two subjects were studied for CD8+ cell anti-HIV suppression activity and serum neutralizing activity against the HIV strain of their own partners, β-chemokine production, and natural killer cell activity. CD8+ cell anti-HIV activity and neutralizing activity of sera were found in 13 (76%) and 12 (70.5%) out of 17 HIV-1 negative subjects, respectively. Six individuals had a relevant immune response against HIV: three subjects with a high CD8+ cell antiviral suppression activity and three individuals with sera neutralizing activity titer > 1:10. These last three subjects had the highest β-chemokine levels, a very prolonged period of multiple sexual intercourse (>6 years) and a seropositive partner with a high viral load. A partial reduction of neutralizing activity titer was observed when pre-incubating the sera with anti-β-chemokine neutralizing antibodies. A spontaneous natural killer cell activity was suppressed in the majority of HIV-1 negative subjects with sexual exposure in comparison with normal individuals. The protection from sexual HIV transmission appears to be the result of a network of different humoral and cellular factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-237
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Volume64
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • CD8+
  • HIV immune protection
  • HIV-neutralizing activity
  • Soluble antiviral factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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