Correlation of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RNA levels in blood and the female genital tract.
In this study, the correlations of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA levels in blood plasma, vaginal secretions, and cervical mucus of 52 HIV-1-infected women were determined. The amount of cell-free HIV-1 RNA in blood plasma was correlated with that in vaginal secretions (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (r) = 0.64, P<.001). In both blood plasma and vaginal secretions, the amounts of cell-free and cell-associated HIV-1 RNA were highly correlated (r=0.76, P<.01 and r=0.85, P<.01, respectively). Cell-free HIV-1 RNA levels in blood plasma and vaginal secretions were negatively correlated with CD4+ T lymphocyte count (r=-0.44, P<.01 and r=-0.40, P<.01, respectively). Similar to the effect observed in blood plasma, initiation of antiretroviral therapy significantly reduced the amount of HIV-1 RNA in vaginal secretions. These findings suggest that factors that lower blood plasma virus load may also reduce the risk of perinatal and female-to-male heterosexual transmission by lowering vaginal virus load. (+info)
Detection of human herpesvirus 8 in cervicovaginal secretions and seroprevalence in human immunodeficiency virus type 1-seropositive and -seronegative women.
Epidemiologic studies suggest that human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) may be sexually transmitted. To study the potential for HHV-8 transmission through cervicovaginal (CV) secretions, the presence of HHV-8 DNA was investigated by nested polymerase chain reaction in the cellular fraction of CV secretions from 36 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-seropositive and 29 HIV-1-seronegative women. The same patients were tested for antibodies to two defined HHV-8 antigens (latency-associated nuclear antigen and open-reading frame 65-encoded structural protein) and for HHV-8 DNA in their peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). The findings were compared with the rate of HHV-8 detection in semen samples of 20 HIV-1-infected men. HHV-8 DNA was detected in the CV samples from only 1 HHV-8-seropositive AIDS patient, in 3 PBMC samples (1/29 HIV-1-seronegative patients, 1/3 AIDS patients with Kaposi's sarcoma, and 1/19 AIDS patients), and in 1 of 20 semen samples. HHV-8 infection was more common in HIV-1-infected than uninfected women. Thus HHV-8 DNA is only rarely detectable in CV secretions and semen of HHV-8-infected individuals. (+info)
The oestrous cycle of the brown lemur, Lemur fulvus.
Examination of vaginal smears and observations of the colour and tumescence of the genitalia and discharge of mucus of 9 brown lemurs indicated that the oestrous cycle lasted for 30 days and that cycles occurred between September and July. The timing of cycles of females housed in visual isolation differed from that of females able to see other lemurs, indicating that the oestrous cycle in this species can be influenced by different housing conditions. (+info)
Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) concentrations in cervical mucus of women with normal menstrual cycle.
Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) is a potent inhibitor of human leukocyte elastase. SLPI transcripts in the cervical tissue were detected during the menstrual cycle by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Western blot analysis revealed that the intensity of SLPI protein in cervical tissue in the ovulatory phase was stronger than in other phases. Immunohistochemistry using an anti-SLPI polyclonal antibody revealed positive staining in the epithelial cells of the endocervix. Western blot analysis also revealed that SLPI protein was present in the cervical mucus. Again the intensity of SLPI protein in the ovulatory phase was stronger than that in the follicular phase. The SLPI concentrations and SLPI/elastase ratios in the cervical mucus of women in the ovulatory phase were significantly higher than in the follicular and luteal phases. The SLPI and elastase concentrations in the cervical mucus were positively correlated. No significant difference was found in the SLPI serum concentrations of women during the menstrual cycle. These results suggest that production of SLPI from cervical epithelial cells during the ovulatory phase may be important for protection from the effects of elastase. (+info)
Comparison of human cervical mucus and artificial sperm penetration media.
The cervical mucus penetration tests aid research and determine the clinical importance of positive sperm antibody tests. Limited availability and variability of human cervical mucus have instigated the search for mucus substitutes for these tests. This study compares sperm migration in cervical mucus with that in artificial media including hyaluronate solution, egg white and albumin Tyrode solution. Results were quantified by measuring the migration distance (the maximum distance of capillary migration from a semen reservoir by spermatozoa after 1 h) and the sperm concentration at half the migration distance. The mean of both measures for cervical mucus and hyaluronate solution were equivalent [4.4 +/- 1.1 (SD) versus 4.3 +/- 1.0 cm and 118 +/- 51 versus 111 +/- 44x10(3)/ml], and higher than in egg white and albumin Tyrode solution. Antisperm antibodies impaired sperm penetration in cervical mucus and hyaluronate solution in a similar manner (r = 0.92). These results suggest that hyaluronate solution sufficiently resembles human cervical mucus in terms of penetrability that it may be used as a substitute for mucus in capillary tube tests of sperm function. The higher penetrability of cervical mucus and hyaluronate solution is probably related to a channelling effect due to their polymeric structure. (+info)
Cytokine profile in genital tract secretions from female adolescents: impact of human immunodeficiency virus, human papillomavirus, and other sexually transmitted pathogens.
Quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to measure interleukin (IL)-2, IL-10, and IL-12 in cervical secretions from female adolescents with and without sexually transmitted infections. Compared with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]-negative patients, HIV-positive patients had higher concentrations of IL-10 (118.2 pg/mL vs. 34.5 pg/mL; P=.002) and IL-12 (175.5 pg/mL vs. 85.1; P=.03). IL-2 concentrations were not statistically different. Furthermore, genital tract infections were predictors of IL-10 and IL-12 concentrations. Coinfection with HIV and human papillomavirus predicted the highest IL-10 concentrations; coinfection with HIV, human papillomavirus, and other sexually transmitted pathogens predicted the highest IL-12 concentrations. The data indicate that concomitant infection of the genital tract with HIV and other viral, bacterial, or protozoan pathogens influences the local concentrations of some immunoregulatory cytokines. (+info)
Antimicrobial activity of human cervical mucus.
The antibacterial activity of human cervical mucus (CM) was examined on standardized microbial colonized agar plates (agar diffusion test). In parallel, the lysozyme content of CM was determined by means of a turbidimetric test system in aliquots of the same CM specimens. Suspensions of living lyophilized Micrococcus lysedeikticus were used as bacterial substrate. Testing was performed in a total of 133 CM samples, obtained at mid-cycle from sexually active women from unselected infertile couples with a median age of 30 (range 21-42) years. All mucus specimens showed considerable antibacterial activity with clearly visible circular inhibition zones around the CM-filled holes in the colonized agar plates. Related to the effect of hen's egg white (HEW)-lysozyme on the same plates, the median activity of the CM specimens in the agar diffusion test was equivalent to 33.0 (range 6.4-391.4) microg/ml HEW-lysozyme. However, there was a wide inter-individual range of antibacterial effects of cervical secretions. The cervical index did not significantly influence the outcome of either test. The pH of the endocervical CM also was not correlated with the antibacterial effect. Sexual activity leading to the presence of spermatozoa in CM considerably increased its antibacterial effect. The activity was markedly higher in samples obtained within hours after intercourse compared with those taken after sexual abstinence of >/=5 days (P < 0.05). In microbially colonized CM specimens compared to sterile CM, all obtained under hormonally standardized conditions, the antibacterial activity in the agar plate test was significantly lower (P < 0.05). The results of this pilot study demonstrate the considerable antibacterial activity of human CM. (+info)
A new visual indicator of chlamydial cervicitis?
OBJECTIVES: To determine the usefulness of endocervical discharge opacity as a risk indicator for chlamydial infection in relation to two acknowledged visual indicators--yellow endocervical discharge and easily induced mucosal bleeding of the cervix. METHODS: Women from two family planning clinics, a therapeutic abortion clinic, and a university student health clinic (n = 1418 total) consented to a pelvic examination and chlamydia testing, and completed a questionnaire on socio-demographics, sexual behaviour, medical history, and symptoms. A case of chlamydia was defined as positive by culture or blocked enzyme immunoassay in an endocervical swab. RESULTS: The prevalence of chlamydial infection in the clinics was 6.3%. All three of the visual indicators--yellow endocervical discharge, easily induced bleeding, and opaque cervical discharge--were statistically significantly and independently associated with chlamydial infection (odds ratios 2.8, 2.3, and 2.9 respectively), independent of clinic type. Adjustment for the other visual indicators made little difference to the odds ratios. CONCLUSION: Opacity of endocervical discharge was at least as important as the other two commonly acknowledged indicators of chlamydial cervicitis--yellow endocervical discharge and easily induced mucosal bleeding of the cervix. (+info)