Longitudinal Assessment of Systemic and Genital Tract Inflammatory Markers and Endogenous Genital TractE. coliInhibitory Activity in HIV-Infected and Uninfected Women

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Abstract

Problem

Stability over time of systemic and mucosal immunity and their associations with bacterial vaginosis (BV) and HIV-specific parameters were assessed.

Method of Study

Immune mediators and HIV viral load in plasma and cervicovaginal lavage (CVL), E. coli inhibition, and Nugent score were measured at three semiannual visits among 94 participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. Mixed models identified the factors associated with immune mediators.

Results

There was higher E. coli inhibition and lower inflammation over time in the genital tract and systemically. BV was consistently associated with higher CVL inflammatory mediators and lower CVL E. coli inhibition. HIV-infected women with higher CD4 counts had lower systemic and genital inflammatory mediators, and genital HIV shedding was associated with higher CVL inflammatory mediators. Use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) was associated with lower plasma and CVL mediators, but higher E. coli inhibition.

Conclusion

HIV and BV are linked to inflammation, and ART may be associated with improved vaginal health.

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