Production of a novel viral suppressive activity associated with resistance to infection among female sex workers exposed to HIV type 1

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2001 May 20;17(8):735-44. doi: 10.1089/088922201750237004.


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 beta-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.

MeSH terms

  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokines, CC / metabolism
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Cohort Studies
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV Seronegativity / immunology*
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Monocytes / virology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Work
  • Thailand
  • Virus Replication


  • Chemokines, CC
  • Culture Media, Conditioned