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Protein & Peptide Letters

Editor-in-Chief

ISSN (Print): 0929-8665
ISSN (Online): 1875-5305

HIV-Enhancing Factors Are Secreted by Reproductive Epithelia upon Inoculation with Bacterial Vaginosis-Associated Bacteria

Author(s): Colleen R. Eade, Camila Diaz, Sixue Chen, Amy L. Cole and Alexander M. Cole

Volume 22 , Issue 8 , 2015

Page: [672 - 680] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/0929866522666150309155735

Price: $65

Abstract

Bacterial vaginosis is a common reproductive infection in which commensal vaginal lactobacilli are displaced by a mixed population of pathogenic bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis increases susceptibility to HIV, and it has been suggested that host innate immune responses to pathogenic bacteria contribute to enhanced infection, yet the cellular mechanisms mediating the increased HIV susceptibility remain uncharacterized.

We evaluated the HIV-enhancing effects of bacterial vaginosis by inoculating endocervical epithelia with Atopobium vaginae, a bacterial vaginosis-associated bacteria, and assaying secreted factors for HIV-enhancing activity. When epithelia and A. vaginae were cocultured, we observed increased HIV-enhancing activity mediated by secreted low molecular weight factors. From this complex mixture we identified several upregulated host proteins, which functioned in combination to enhance HIV infection.

These studies suggest that the host immune response to bacterial vaginosis-associated bacteria results in the release of HIV-enhancing factors. The combined activity of bacterial vaginosis-induced proteins likely mediates HIV enhancement.

Keywords: Atopobium vaginae, bacterial vaginosis, female reproductive tract, heterosexual HIV transmission, innate immunity, mucosal immunology.

Graphical Abstract

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