Publication
Title
Vaginal microbiota and its role in HIV transmission and infection
Author
Abstract
The urogenital tract appears to be the only niche of the human body that shows clear differences in microbiota between men and women. The female reproductive tract has special features in terms of immunological organization, an epithelial barrier, microbiota, and influence by sex hormones such as estrogen. While the upper genital tract is regarded as free of microorganisms, the vagina is colonized by bacteria dominated by Lactobacillus species, although their numbers vary considerably during life. Bacterial vaginosis is a common pathology characterized by dysbiosis, which increases the susceptibility for HIV infection and transmission. On the other hand, HIV infections are often characterized by a disturbed vaginal microbiota. The endogenous vaginal microbiota may protect against HIV by direct production of antiviral compounds, through blocking of adhesion and transmission by ligands such as lectins, and/or by stimulation of immune responses. The potential role of probiotics in the prevention of HIV infections and associated symptoms, by introducing them to the vaginal and gastrointestinal tract (GIT), is also discussed. Of note, the GIT is a site of considerable HIV replication and CD4(+) T-cell destruction, resulting in both local and systemic inflammation. Finally, genetically engineered lactobacilli show promise as new microbicidal agents against HIV.
Language
English
Source (journal)
FEMS microbiology: reviews / Federation of European Microbiological Societies. - Amsterdam
Publication
Amsterdam : 2013
ISSN
0168-6445
Volume/pages
37:5(2013), p. 762-792
ISI
000322228500006
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 10.09.2013
Last edited 19.06.2017
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