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Mucosal Correlates of Protection in HIV-1-Exposed Sero-negative Persons

Authors

  • Ruizhong Shen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology), University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA
    • Correspondence

      Ruizhong Shen, 1720 2nd Avenue South, SHEL 672, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA. E-mail: rshen@uab.edu

      and

      Phillip D. Smith, 1720 2nd Avenue South, SHEL 610, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA. E-mail: pdsmith@uab.edu

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  • Phillip D. Smith

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology), University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA
    2. VA Medical Center, Birmingham, AL, USA
    • Correspondence

      Ruizhong Shen, 1720 2nd Avenue South, SHEL 672, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA. E-mail: rshen@uab.edu

      and

      Phillip D. Smith, 1720 2nd Avenue South, SHEL 610, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA. E-mail: pdsmith@uab.edu

    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Resistance to HIV-1 infection in HIV-1-exposed sero-negative (HESN) persons offers a promising opportunity to identify mechanisms of ‘natural’ protection. Unique features of the mucosa in particular may contribute to this protection. Here, we highlight several key issues pertaining to the mucosal correlates of protection in HESN persons, including humoral immune responses, mechanisms of mucosal HIV-1 neutralization, immune cell activation, and role of the microbiota in mucosal responses. We also discuss mucosal model systems that can be used to investigate the mechanisms of resistance in HESN subjects. A clear understanding of the mucosal correlates of protection against HIV-1 in HESN persons will provide critical new insights for the development of effective vaccine and microbicide strategies for the prevention of HIV-1 transmission.

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