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Semen-mediated enhancement of HIV infection is donor-dependent and correlates with the levels of SEVI.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: HIV-1 is usually transmitted in the presence of semen. We have shown that semen boosts HIV-1 infection and contains fragments of prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) forming amyloid aggregates termed SEVI (semen-derived enhancer of viral infection) that promote virion attachment to target cells. Despite its importance for the global spread of HIV-1, however, the effect of semen on virus infection is controversial. RESULTS: Here, we established methods allowing the meaningful analysis of semen by minimizing its cytotoxic effects and partly recapitulating the conditions encountered during sexual HIV-1 transmission. We show that semen rapidly and effectively enhances the infectivity of HIV-1, HIV-2, and SIV. This enhancement occurs independently of the viral genotype and coreceptor tropism as well as the virus producer and target cell type. Semen-mediated enhancement of HIV-1 infection was also observed under acidic pH conditions and in the presence of vaginal fluid. We further show that the potency of semen in boosting HIV-1 infection is donor dependent and correlates with the levels of SEVI. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that semen strongly enhances the infectivity of HIV-1 and other primate lentiviruses and that SEVI contributes to this effect. Thus, SEVI may play an important role in the sexual transmission of HIV-1 and addition of SEVI inhibitors to microbicides may improve their efficacy.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 27, 2012 - 5:14:25 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 30, 2022 - 2:35:17 PM
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Kyeong-Ae Kim, Maral yolamanova, Onofrio Zirafi, Nadia Roan, Ludger Staendker, et al.. Semen-mediated enhancement of HIV infection is donor-dependent and correlates with the levels of SEVI.. Retrovirology, BioMed Central, 2010, 7 (1), pp.55. ⟨10.1186/1742-4690-7-55⟩. ⟨inserm-00663892⟩



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