HIV-Exposed Seronegative Commercial Sex Workers Show a Quiescent Phenotype in the CD4+ T Cell Compartment and Reduced Expression of HIV-Dependent Host Factors


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Abstract

Studies of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-exposed seronegative individuals are crucial to inform vaccine design. In the present study we demonstrated that HIV-exposed seronegative commercial sex workers produce lower levels of proinflammatory cytokines at baseline than HIV-negative control subjects. We also showed that CD4+ T cells of HIV-exposed seronegative commercial sex workers have a characteristically lower level of gene expression that can be seen in differentially expressed genes and systems crucial for HIV replication, such as the T cell receptor pathway and previously identified HIV dependency factors. This apparent lowered activation results in a phenomenon we term “immune quiescence,” which may contribute to host resistance to HIV.

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