Target cells in vaginal HIV transmission

Microbes Infect. 2003 Jan;5(1):59-67. doi: 10.1016/s1286-4579(02)00056-4.


Understanding the mechanisms of HIV transmission to women will be crucial to the development of effective strategies to curb this epidemic. Current data suggest that HIV has at least two routes to penetrate the vaginal epithelium and reach lymphoid tissues, trans-epithelial migration of infected Langerhans cells or virus penetration into the lamina propria through loss of epithelial integrity resulting in direct infection of lymphocytes, dendritic cells and macrophages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epithelium / anatomy & histology
  • Epithelium / immunology
  • Female
  • HIV / pathogenicity
  • HIV Infections / metabolism
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Macaca
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / transmission
  • Simian Immunodeficiency Virus / pathogenicity
  • Vagina / cytology
  • Vagina / immunology
  • Vagina / virology*


  • Immunologic Factors