Anti-HIV activity in cervical-vaginal secretions from HIV-Positive and -Negative women correlate with innate antimicrobial levels and IgG antibodies

Academic Article


  • Background: We investigated the impact of antimicrobials in cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) from HIV(+) and HIV(-) women on target cell infection with HIV. Since female reproductive tract (FRT) secretions contain a spectrum of antimicrobials, we hypothesized that CVL from healthy HIV(+) and (-) women inhibit HIV infection. Methodology/Principal Findings: CVL from 32 HIV(+) healthy women with high CD4 counts and 15 healthy HIV(-) women were collected by gently washing the cervicovaginal area with 10 ml of sterile normal saline. Following centrifugation, anti-HIV activity in CVL was determined by incubating CVL with HIV prior to addition to TZM-bl cells. Antimicrobials and anti-gp160 HIV IgG antibodies were measured by ELISA. When CXCR4 and CCR5 tropic HIV-1 were incubated with CVL from HIV(+) women prior to addition to TZM-bl cells, anti-HIV activity in CVL ranged from none to 100% inhibition depending on the viral strains used. CVL from HIV(-) controls showed comparable anti-HIV activity. Analysis of CH077.c (clone of an R5-tropic, mucosally-transmitted founder virus) viral inhibition by CVL was comparable to laboratory strains. Measurement of CVL for antimicrobials HBD2, trappin-2/elafin, SLPI and MIP3α indicated that each was present in CVL from HIV(+) and HIV(-) women. HBD2 and MIP3α correlated with anti-HIV activity as did anti-gp160 HIV IgG antibodies in CVL from HIV(+) women. Conclusions/Significance: These findings indicate that CVL from healthy HIV(+) and HIV(-) women contain innate and adaptive defense mechanisms that inhibit HIV infection. Our data suggest that innate endogenous antimicrobials and HIV-specific IgG in the FRT can act in concert to contribute toward the anti-HIV activity of the CVL and may play a role in inhibition of HIV transmission to women. © 2010 Ghosh et al.
  • Published In

  • PLoS ONE  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ghosh M; Fahey JV; Shen Z; Lahey T; Cu-Uvin S; Wu Z; Mayer K; Wright PF; Kappes JC; Ochsenbauer C
  • Volume

  • 5
  • Issue

  • 6