To investigate mechanisms of natural resistance to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), we obtained blood samples from eight women who remained HIV-1 negative after >3 years of high-risk sex work in Chiang Rai, Thailand. CD4+ T lymphocytes from these highly exposed, persistently seronegative (HEPS) women were readily infectable in vitro with HIV-1 subtypes B and E. Autologous CD8+ cell suppression of both HIV-1 subtypes was evident in HEPS infection cultures, but to an extent also observed in cultures from non-HIV-exposed individuals. Furthermore, production of β-chemokines was not enhanced in HEPS cultures. However, HEPS cultures displayed significantly enhanced production of a soluble activity that suppressed postintegrated HIV-1 replication. This activity was the unique product of CD4+ T cell and monocyte cocultures. Therefore, although HEPS individuals are apparently susceptible to infection, the production of a postintegrated HIV-1 suppressive activity during monocyte-T cell interactions might protect against the establishment of infection by limiting viral dissemination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases