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Salivary HIV-1 Inhibitors

P.I.: Murray R. Robinovitch, Professor and Chairman, Department of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, University of Washington

The specific aims of this study are to identify, isolate and characterize those non-immunoglobulin components of saliva that inhibit HIV-l infectivity and to elucidate their mechanisms of action. We found that adapted the multinuclear activation of a galactosidase indicator assay (MAGI) and the secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor assay (SLPI) for use in the studies. Of seven chromatographically separated components of saliva, those containing non-glycosylated basic proine-rich proteins inhibited HIV-l from 20 to 80% at protein concentrations within physiologic range. The fractions were inhibitory using both assays. The site of action appears to be prior to or at the site of viral entry into the cell rather than later in the infection process.

The modes of transmission of human acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) are still not completely understood even though bodily fluids such as blood and semen of infected subjects are regarded as extremely hazardous. Other human secretions such as milk and saliva have been reported to contain inhibitors of HIV-1 infectivity and it is now known that saliva may contain non-immunoglobulin inhibitors as well as secretory immunoglobulins if the subject is infected with HIV. The degree to which a non-infected personıs saliva may be protective against HIV-1 infection via the oral route, and the degree to which the non-immunoglobulin factors and antibodies in an infected subjectıs saliva may lessen the biohazard of this secretion is not known. Such information is vital from a public health point of view, and is also extremely important to the practice of dentistry. With such information, better advice can be offered to the public on how to contain AIDS, and to the profession of dentistry on how to design office practices and procedures.

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