Comparison of the distribution of IgG and IgA antibodies in serum and various mucosal fluids of HIV type 1-infected subjects

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1999 Oct 10;15(15):1365-76. doi: 10.1089/088922299310070.


We compared IgG and IgA distribution in serum, three different salivary samples, two different rectal secretion samples, cervicovaginal secretions, and seminal secretions from asymptomatic CDC stage II/III HIV-1-infected subjects (n = 44) and from HIV-1-seronegative volunteers (n = 52). In-house ELISAs were used to measure total IgG and total IgA levels, as well as HIV-specific anti-gp120 MN and anti-p24 LAI IgG and IgA. Human serum albumin was titrated in parallel to calculate the relative coefficient of excretion (RCE). In spite of substantial interindividual variability, total IgG concentrations in all fluids were found to be significantly greater in the HIV-1-infected group than in the seronegative subjects. Calculation of RCE values revealed three different types of mucosal secretion: secretions with no local Ig production, such as sperm; secretions with local production of IgA and transudative origin of IgG, such as salivary and rectal samples; and secretions with local production of both IgG and IgA, such as in cervicovaginal secretions. For all mucosal specimens from HIV-1-infected subjects, the response to HIV-1 was predominantly IgG, with highest titers observed in cervicovaginal secretions (although these were lower than serum levels). In contrast, the specific IgA response appeared weaker in the mucosa than in serum.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV Antibodies / analysis
  • HIV Antibodies / blood*
  • HIV Core Protein p24 / immunology
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / immunology
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV-1* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal*
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Male
  • Mucous Membrane / immunology
  • Saliva / immunology
  • Serum Albumin / analysis


  • HIV Antibodies
  • HIV Core Protein p24
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Serum Albumin