3 years ago

Understanding mucosal and microbial functionality of the female reproductive tract by metaproteomics: Implications for HIV transmission

The mucosal surface of the female genital tract contains physiological, immunological, and microbial components that collectively comprise a functioning “mucosal system” that is critical for reproductive health. Alterations or imbalances to any of these components can have significant consequences for susceptibility to sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV. In recent years the advent of advanced systems biology technologies, such as metaproteomics, has provided new toolsets to studying mucosal systems. Studies have linked an altered mucosal proteome to many HIV risk factors including mucosal inflammation, bacterial vaginosis, hormonal contraceptives, and reduced efficacy of antiretroviral drugs for HIV prevention. Herein we will discuss how metaproteomics has been used to study mucosal system components, including epithelial barriers, inflammation, and the microbiome, with a focus on what alterations may contribute to increased HIV transmission risk in women.
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