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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 875821, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/875821
Review Article

Natural Immunity to HIV: A Delicate Balance between Strength and Control

Laboratoire d’Immunogénétique, Centre de Recherche, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM) et Département de Microbiologie et Immunologie, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada H2L 4M1

Received 14 August 2012; Revised 10 November 2012; Accepted 16 November 2012

Academic Editor: Vicki L. Traina-Dorge

Copyright © 2012 Johanne Poudrier et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Understanding how the mucosal immune system in the human female reproductive tract might prevent or facilitate HIV infection has important implications for the design of effective interventions. We and others have established cohorts of highly-exposed, HIV-seronegative individuals, such as HIV-uninfected commercial sex workers, who have remained HIV-negative after more than 5 years of active prostitution. Observations obtained in studies of such individuals, who represent a model of natural immunity to HIV, indicate that HIV resistance may be associated with the host’s capacity to preserve systemic integrity by constraining immune activity and controlling inflammatory conditions at the mucosal point of entry. This likely necessitates the orchestration of balanced, first-line and adaptive immune responses.