DataSheet_1_Cervicovaginal Immune Activation in Zambian Women With Female Genital Schistosomiasis.docx (3.7 MB)
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DataSheet_1_Cervicovaginal Immune Activation in Zambian Women With Female Genital Schistosomiasis.docx

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posted on 02.03.2021, 10:56 authored by Amy S. Sturt, Emily L. Webb, Catriona Patterson, Comfort R. Phiri, Tobias Mweene, Eyrun F. Kjetland, Maina Mudenda, Joyce Mapani, Mable M. Mutengo, James Chipeta, Govert J. van Dam, Paul L. A. M. Corstjens, Helen Ayles, Richard J. Hayes, Isaiah Hansingo, Piet Cools, Lisette van Lieshout, Helena Helmby, Grace A. McComsey, Suzanna C. Francis, Amaya L. Bustinduy

HIV-1 infection disproportionately affects women in sub-Saharan Africa, where areas of high HIV-1 prevalence and Schistosoma haematobium endemicity largely overlap. Female genital schistosomiasis (FGS), an inflammatory disease caused by S. haematobium egg deposition in the genital tract, has been associated with prevalent HIV-1 infection. Elevated levels of the chemokines MIP-1α (CCL-3), MIP-1β (CCL-4), IP-10 (CXCL-10), and IL-8 (CXCL-8) in cervicovaginal lavage (CVL) have been associated with HIV-1 acquisition. We hypothesize that levels of cervicovaginal cytokines may be raised in FGS and could provide a causal mechanism for the association between FGS and HIV-1. In the cross-sectional BILHIV study, specimens were collected from 603 female participants who were aged 18–31 years, sexually active, not pregnant and participated in the HPTN 071 (PopART) HIV-1 prevention trial in Zambia. Participants self-collected urine, and vaginal and cervical swabs, while CVLs were clinically obtained. Microscopy and Schistosoma circulating anodic antigen (CAA) were performed on urine. Genital samples were examined for parasite-specific DNA by PCR. Women with FGS (n=28), defined as a positive Schistosoma PCR from any genital sample were frequency age-matched with 159 FGS negative (defined as negative Schistosoma PCR, urine CAA, urine microscopy, and colposcopy imaging) women. Participants with probable FGS (n=25) (defined as the presence of either urine CAA or microscopy in combination with one of four clinical findings suggestive of FGS on colposcope-obtained photographs) were also included, for a total sample size of 212. The concentrations of 17 soluble cytokines and chemokines were quantified by a multiplex bead-based immunoassay. There was no difference in the concentrations of cytokines or chemokines between participants with and without FGS. An exploratory analysis of those women with a higher FGS burden, defined by ≥2 genital specimens with detectable Schistosoma DNA (n=15) showed, after adjusting for potential confounders, a higher Th2 (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13) and pro-inflammatory (IL-15) expression pattern in comparison to FGS negative women, with differences unlikely to be due to chance (p=0.037 for IL-4 and p<0.001 for IL-5 after adjusting for multiple testing). FGS may alter the female genital tract immune environment, but larger studies in areas of varying endemicity are needed to evaluate the association with HIV-1 vulnerability.

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