We have begun the process of characterizing the mucosal immune responses to SIV in the SIV/rhesus macaque system. We demonstrate that anti-SIV antibodies are found in the vaginal secretions, rectal secretions, saliva and serum of SIV-infected rhesus macaques and that IgG is the major anti-SIV antibody isotype in vaginal secretions and saliva. We have provided the first demonstration that anti-SIV cytotoxic T lymphocytes are present in the vaginal epithelium of SIV-infected rhesus macaques. The work described here clearly shows the existence of both cellular and humoral anti-SIV immune responses in the genital tract of SIV-infected female rhesus macaques.
- Female genital tract
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