Cell-Associated HIV Mucosal Transmission: The Neglected Pathway

Published: December 18, 2014

BU Public Relations
Original Article:  bit.ly/1wSee6j

Dr. Deborah Anderson from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and her colleagues are challenging dogma about the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Most research has focused on infection by free viral particles, while this group proposes that HIV is also transmitted by infected cells. While inside cells, HIV is protected from antibodies and other antiviral factors, and cell-to-cell virus transmission occurs very efficiently through intercellular synapses. The Journal of Infectious Diseases (JID) has devoted their December supplement to this important and understudied topic.

The 10 articles, four from researchers at BUSM, present the case for cell-associated HIV transmission as an important element contributing to the HIV epidemic.  Anderson chides fellow researchers for not using cell-associated HIV in their transmission models: “The failure of several recent vaccine and microbicide clinical trials to prevent HIV transmission may be due in part to this oversight.”

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1wSee6j
 

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