Multiplex immunoassay of lower genital tract mucosal fluid from women attending an urban STD clinic shows broadly increased IL1ß and lactoferrin

Gregory T. Spear, Sabrina R. Kendrick, Hua Y. Chen, Tin T. Thomas, Mieoak Bahk, Robert Balderas, Santosh Ghosh, Aaron Weinberg, Alan L. Landay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: More than one million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occur each day. The immune responses and inflammation induced by STDs and other frequent non-STD microbial colonizations (i.e. Candida and bacterial vaginosis) can have serious pathologic consequences in women including adverse pregnancy outcomes, infertility and increased susceptibility to infection by other pathogens. Understanding the types of immune mediators that are elicited in the lower genital tract by these infections/colonizations can give important insights into the innate and adaptive immune pathways that are activated and lead to strategies for preventing pathologic effects. Methodology/Principal Findings: 32 immune mediators were measured by multiplexed immunoassays to assess the immune environment of the lower genital tract mucosa in 84 women attending an urban STD clinic. IL-3, IL-1ß, VEGF, angiogenin, IL-8, ß2Defensin and ß3Defensin were detected in all subjects, Interferon-α was detected in none, while the remaining mediators were detected in 40% to 93% of subjects. Angiogenin, VEGF, FGF, IL-9, IL-7, lymphotoxin-α and IL-3 had not been previously reported in genital mucosal fluid from women. Strong correlations were observed between levels of TNF-α, IL-1ß and IL-6, between chemokines IP-10 and MIG and between myeloperoxidase, IL-8 and G-CSF. Samples from women with any STD/colonization had significantly higher levels of IL-8, IL-3, IL-7, IL-1ß, lactoferrin and myeloperoxidase. IL-1ß and lactoferrin were significantly increased in gonorrhea, Chlamydia, cervicitis, bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis. Conclusions/Significance: These studies show that mucosal fluid in general appears to be an environment that is rich in immune mediators. Importantly, IL-1ß and lactoferrin are biomarkers for STDs/colonizations providing insights into immune responses and pathogenesis at this mucosal site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere19560
JournalPloS one
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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