Author(s): Nowicki MJ, Laskus T, Nikolopoulou G, Radkowski M, Wilkinson J, , Nowicki MJ, Laskus T, Nikolopoulou G, Radkowski M, Wilkinson J,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected women--in particular, those coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)--can transmit infection to their children and sex partners. METHODS: The present study was conducted to analyze the presence of HCV RNA in cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) fluid from 71 women (58 HCV/HIV-1-coinfected women and 13 HCV-infected, HIV-1-uninfected women) enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. RESULTS: HCV RNA was detected (by a commercial polymerase chain reaction assay) in CVL fluid from 18 (29\%) of the HIV-1-infected women and from none of the HIV-1-uninfected women (P<.05). Multivariate analysis revealed that risk factors for the presence of HCV RNA in CVL fluid were HCV viremia (odds ratio [OR], 16.81; P=.02) and HIV-1 RNA in CVL fluid (OR, 19.87; P=.02). This observation suggests local interactions between HIV-1 and HCV in the genital tract compartment. There was no correlation between HCV RNA in CVL fluid and CD4, CD8, or CD3 cell counts, HIV-1 RNA viremia, the number of leukocytes in CVL fluid, or HIV-1 therapy. Furthermore, in 3 of 5 analyzed patients who had a detectable CVL HCV RNA load, we found viral variants differing in the 5' untranslated region that were present neither in plasma nor in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells. CONCLUSIONS: Our observations point to the importance of the genital tract compartment, in which local HCV replication could be facilitated by local HIV-1 replication.
This article was published in J Infect Dis
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research