What is the role of gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) in the pathogenesis of HIV infection?

Updated: Jul 01, 2019
  • Author: Nicholas John Bennett, MBBCh, PhD, MA(Cantab), FAAP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) plays a role in HIV replication. [28] Although the portal of entry for HIV infection is typically through direct blood inoculation or exposure of the virus to genital mucosal surfaces, the GI tract contains a large amount of lymphoid tissue, making this an ideal site for HIV replication.

GALT has been shown to be a site of early viral seeding and establishment of the proviral reservoir. This reservoir contributes to the difficulty of controlling the infection, and efforts to reduce the levels of HIV provirus through sustained antiretroviral therapy (alone or in combination with interleukin-2 activation of resting HIV-infected T cells) have consistently failed. [29]


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