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Pathology Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 748740, 9 pages
Review Article

The Regulation of Inflammatory Pathways and Infectious Disease of the Cervix by Seminal Fluid

MRC/UCT Receptor Biology Research Unit, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine and Division of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Room No. 2.02 Wernher and Beit North, Observatory 7925, South Africa

Received 11 June 2014; Accepted 31 July 2014; Published 11 August 2014

Academic Editor: Runjan Chetty

Copyright © 2014 Anthonio Adefuye 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.


The connection between human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and the consequent sequelae which establishes cervical neoplastic transformation and invasive cervical cancer has redefined many aspects of cervical cancer research. However there is still much that we do not know. In particular, the impact of external factors, like seminal fluid in sexually active women, on pathways that regulate cervical inflammation and tumorigenesis, have yet to be fully understood. HPV infection is regarded as the initiating noninflammatory cause of the disease; however emerging evidence points to resident HPV infections as drivers of inflammatory pathways that play important roles in tumorigenesis as well as in the susceptibility to other infections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Moreover there is emerging evidence to support a role for seminal fluid, in particular, the inflammatory bioactive lipids, and prostaglandins which are present in vast quantities in seminal fluid in regulating pathways that can exacerbate inflammation of the cervix, speed up tumorigenesis, and enhance susceptibility to HIV infection. This review will highlight some of our current knowledge of the role of seminal fluid as a potent driver of inflammatory and tumorigenic pathways in the cervix and will provide some evidence to propose a role for seminal plasma prostaglandins in HIV infection and AIDS-related cancer.