Saliva can mediate HIV-1-specific antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2006 Nov;48(2):267-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.2006.00146.x. Epub 2006 Sep 18.


HIV is not usually transmitted by saliva from HIV-1-infected individuals. Antiviral substances in saliva responsible for this may include HIV-1-specific antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). We evaluated saliva ADCC titers of 62 HIV-1-infected women from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) and 55 uninfected individuals. HIV-1-infected women were less likely to have ADCC activity in saliva than in serum or cervical lavage fluid (CVL). 24% of HIV-1-positive women and a similar percentage of uninfected women had HIV-1-specific saliva ADCC activity. A significant amount of saliva ADCC activity in infected women was HIV-gp120-specific. These studies demonstrate that HIV-specific ADCC activity can be present in saliva. This activity may contribute to host defence against initial infection with HIV.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Female
  • HIV Antibodies / immunology*
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / immunology
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Saliva / immunology*
  • Saliva / virology
  • Viral Load


  • HIV Antibodies
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120
  • Immunoglobulin A