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The barrier functions of crude cervical mucus plugs against HIV-1 infection in the context of cell-free and cell-to-cell transmission

  • Objective: The cervical mucus plugs are enriched with proteins of known immunological functions. We aimed to characterize the anti-HIV-1 activity of the cervical mucus plugs against a panel of different HIV-1 strains in the contexts of cell-free and cell-associated virus. Design: A cohort of consenting HIV-1-negative and HIV-1-positive pregnant women in labour was recruited from Mthatha General Hospital in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, from whom the cervical mucus plugs were collected in 6 M guanidinium chloride with protease inhibitors and transported to our laboratories at −80 °C. Methods: Samples were centrifuged to remove insoluble material and dialysed before freeze--drying and subjecting them to the cell viability assays. The antiviral activities of the samples were studied using luminometric reporter assays and flow cytometry. Time-of-addition and BlaM-Vpr virus-cell fusion assays were used to pin-point the antiviral mechanisms of the cervical mucus plugs, before proteomic profiling using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Results: The proteinaceous fraction of the cervical mucus plugs exhibited anti-HIV-1 activity with inter-individual variations and some degree of specificity among different HIV-1 strains. Cell-associated HIV-1 was less susceptible to inhibition by the potent samples whenever compared with the cell-free HIV-1. The samples with high antiviral potency exhibited a distinct proteomic profile when compared with the less potent samples. Conclusion: The crude cervical mucus plugs exhibit anti-HIV-1 activity, which is defined by a specific proteomic profile.

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Author:Baxolele MhlekudeORCiD, Annasara LenmanORCiD, Phikolomzi Sidoyi, Jim Joseph, Jochen Kruppa-ScheetzORCiD, Charles Bitamazire BusingeORCiD, Mana Lungisa Mdaka, Frank KonietschkeORCiD, Andreas PichORCiD, Gisa GeroldORCiD, Christine GoffinetORCiD, Anwar Suleman MallORCiD
Title (English):The barrier functions of crude cervical mucus plugs against HIV-1 infection in the context of cell-free and cell-to-cell transmission
Parent Title (English):AIDS
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2021
Release Date:2024/04/23
Tag:Cervical mucus plugs; HIV-1; Mucins
First Page:2105
Last Page:2117
Faculties:Fakultät AuL
DDC classes:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 610 Medizin, Gesundheit
Review Status:Veröffentlichte Fassung/Verlagsversion
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International