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Revista Cubana de Obstetricia y Ginecología

Print version ISSN 0138-600X


SANCHEZ, Jurany Andrea; CARDONA-MAYA, Walter  and  RUGELES, María Teresa. Implications of HIV transmission from human sperm during fertilization. Rev Cubana Obstet Ginecol [online]. 2013, vol.39, n.3, pp. 249-259. ISSN 0138-600X.

Introduction: seminal leukocytes are considered the source of HIV infection during sexual transmission, although the interaction between sperm and virus has been described. Objective: the aim of this study was to determine the ability of sperm from HIV-positive individuals to transfer the virus to macrophages. Methods: pure sperm from 14 HIV-1 infected patients treated or not with trypsin were cocultured with macrophages. Cell interaction was evaluated by light microscopy. Nested-PCR for the env gene from sperm and cocultures DNA was performed. Results: macrophages sperm interaction through head, neck and tail was found. Proviral DNA was not detected within sperm DNA. However, the env gene was detected in DNA from the cocultures at 4 and 24 hours in 50% and 87.5% of those treated with trypsin and in 43% and 28.6% of the non treated cultures, respectively. Conclusion: the virus enters the sperm, and this cell is capable of transferring the virus to macrophages. Thus, during natural or assisted fertilization, viral particles might enter into the oocyte, establishing a productive infection in the embryo, and transmitting the infection to the mother. Trypsin could enhance viral transmission by facilitating entry of virions into macrophages.

Keywords : spermatozoa; vertical transmission; HIV; infection.

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