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Biology of HIV mucosal transmission

Wu, Li

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: September 2008 - Volume 3 - Issue 5 - p 534–540
doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32830634c6
Microbicides: Edited by John Kaldor and Melissa Robbiani

Purpose of review HIV-1 mucosal transmission plays a critical role in HIV-1 infection and AIDS pathogenesis. This review summarizes the latest advances in biological studies of HIV-1 mucosal transmission, highlighting the implications of these studies in the development of microbicides to prevent HIV-1 transmission.

Recent findings New studies of initial HIV-1 infection using improved culture models updated the current view of mucosal transmission. Mechanistic studies enhanced our understanding of cell–cell transmission of HIV-1 mediated by the major target cells, including dendritic cells, CD4+ T cells, and macrophages. Increasing evidence indicated the significance of host factors and immune responses in HIV-1 mucosal infection and transmission.

Summary Recent progress in HIV-1 mucosal infection and transmission enriches our knowledge of virus–host interactions and viral pathogenesis. Functional studies of HIV-1 interactions with host cells can provide new insights into the design of more effective approaches to combat HIV-1 infection and AIDS.

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Correspondence to Li Wu, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, BSB 203, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA Tel: +1 414 456 4075; fax: +1 414 456 6535; e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.