Mucosal Immunology of HIV Infection

Recent advances in the immunology, pathogenesis, and prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection continue to reveal clues to the mechanisms involved in the progressive immunodeficiency attributed to infection.  HIV selectively infects, eliminates, and/or dysregulates several key cells of the human immune system, thwarting multiple arms of the host immune response, and inflicting severe damage to mucosal barriers, resulting in tissue infiltration of 'symbiotic' intestinal bacteria and viruses that essentially become opportunistic infections promoting systemic immune activation. Mucosal tissues are the major targets exposed to the HIV during transmission. In the majority of subjects the initial acquisition of HIV involves passage of virus across a mucosal surface. The sexual route is the most important route of transmission- (1) homosexuals where lymphoid cells are likely to be the prime target and (2) heterosexuals where the genital tract provides the virus access to lymphoid cells.

Recent advances in the immunology, pathogenesis, and prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection continue to reveal clues to the mechanisms involved in the progressive immunodeficiency attributed to infection.  HIV selectively infects, eliminates, and/or dysregulates several key cells of the human immune system, thwarting multiple arms of the host immune response, and inflicting severe damage to mucosal barriers, resulting in tissue infiltration of 'symbiotic' intestinal bacteria and viruses that essentially become opportunistic infections promoting systemic immune activation. Mucosal tissues are the major targets exposed to the HIV during transmission. In the majority of subjects the initial acquisition of HIV involves passage of virus across a mucosal surface. 

  • Advances in HIV Mucosal Immunology

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Mucosal Immunology of HIV Infection Conference Speakers