Jourdan PM, Holmen SD, Gundersen SG, Roald B, Kjetland EF
Journal title: The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 2011 Dec;85(6):1060-4
Article on PubMed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22144444
The parasite Schistosoma haematobium frequently causes genital lesions in women and could increase the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission. This study quantifies the HIV target cells in schistosome-infected female genital mucosa. Cervicovaginal biopsies with and without schistosomiasis were immunostained for quantification of CD4(+) T lymphocytes (CD3, CD8), macrophages (CD68), and dendritic Langerhans cells (S100 protein). We found significantly higher densities of genital mucosal CD4(+) T lymphocytes and macrophages surrounding schistosome ova compared with cervicovaginal mucosa without ova (P = 0.034 and P = 0.018, respectively). We found no increased density of Langerhans cells (P = 0.25). This study indicates that S. haematobium may significantly increase the density of HIV target cells (CD4(+) T lymphocytes and macrophages) in the female genitals, creating a beneficial setting for HIV transmission. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and to evaluate the effect of anti-schistosomal treatment on female genital schistosomiasis.