Mucosal immunity to HIV: A review of recent literature

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15 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review summarizes recent literature in the field of mucosal immunology as it applies to HIV transmission and pathogenesis. RECENT FINDINGS: Pertinent recent findings include elucidation of the role of mucosal antigen-presenting cells and retinoic acid in imprinting a gut-homing phenotype on antigen-specific T and B cells, and the identification of Th17 and T regulatory cells as key modulators of the balance between tolerance and inflammation in mucosal tissues. SUMMARY: Mucosal surfaces of the body serve as the major portal of entry for HIV. These tissues also house a majority of the body's lymphocytes, including the CD4 T-cells that are the major cellular target for HIV infection. Elucidating mucosal immune responses is critical to our understanding of the host-pathogen relationship for two reasons: first, mucosal barriers are defended by a range of innate and adaptive defenses that might be exploited to develop effective vaccines or microbicides; second, adaptive immune responses in mucosal lymphoid tissues might serve to limit viral replication, decreasing the host's viral burden as well as reducing the likelihood of sexual transmission to a naïve host.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in HIV and AIDS
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • CTL
  • Gut
  • IgA
  • Th17
  • Treg

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Oncology


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