, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 90-98
Date: 07 Nov 2009

Chemokine Expression Patterns in the Systemic and Genital Tract Compartments are Associated with HIV-1 Infection in Women from Benin

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Understanding the genital mucosal immunity and the factors involved in linking innate to adaptive immunity is crucial for the design of efficient preventive strategies against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1.


Levels of both genital mucosal and blood chemokines were compared between 58 HIV-1-uninfected and 50 HIV-1-infected female commercial sex workers (CSWs) as well as 53 HIV-1-uninfected non-CSW control women at low risk for exposure, recruited in Cotonou, Benin.


HIV-1-infected CSWs had significantly higher blood and genital levels of monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP-3/CCL7) and monokine induced by gamma interferon (MIG/CXCL9) compared with those in both the HIV-1-uninfected CSW and non-CSW groups. In the HIV-1-infected group, levels of MCP-3 and MIG were significantly higher in the genital mucosa than in the blood. However, the blood levels of macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP-1a/CCL3) and MIP-1b/CCL4 were higher in HIV-1-uninfected CSWs compared with those in the other groups.


Increased production of chemokines in the genital tract may favour the recruitment of HIV-1 target cells causing a mucosal environment that promotes viral replication and dissemination, whereas higher expression of β-chemokines at the systemic level is associated with protection from HIV-1 infection.