Introduction HIV binds specifically to human Mannose Receptor (hMR) on vaginal epithelial cells which are devoid of conventional CD4 receptor. HIV binding to hMR on vaginal epithelial cells induces the production of Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) leading to degradation of extracellular matrix which may increase the risk of sexual transmission of HIV.
Methods PCR amplification of DNA from PBMCs of the serodiscordant females for CCR5 gene flanking for CCR5-delta 32 region. Translated amino acid sequence of C2-V3 region of env gene of HIV PBMCs and sperm of the infected male partners of the Serodiscordant couples was determined. The localization of hMR on vaginal epithelial cells of the seronegative females from general population and seronegative females from Serodiscordant couples was studied using FITC labelled antibodies to hMR (FITC AbhMR).
Results Translated amino acid sequence of C2-V3 region of env gene of HIV1C in PBMCs (n=9) and sperm (n=5) of the male partners showed the presence of distinct variants and the variation in PBMCs and sperm of serodiscordant males was almost similar to that of infected males from concordant couples. The Presence of hMR on 0%–11% of the vaginal epithelial cells of seronegative females (n=39) from serodiscordant couples and 90%–95% that of control group of females.
Conclusion The study suggests the association of hMR in sexual transmission of HIV. Presence of hMR in lower number of vaginal epithelial cells of Serodiscordant females prevented binding and HIV entry into these cells.