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Role of the placenta in perinatal transmission of HIV


, : Role of the placenta in perinatal transmission of HIV. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America 17(3): 607-616

The role of the placental tissue in the perinatal transmission of HIV is still far from being understood. Significant data regarding transplacental infection have been collected, but differences in technique have led to controversy. It appears clear that many Hofbauer cells are CD4+ and can become infected with HIV. Less certain but probable is infection of trophoblasts themselves. Whether infection is CD4 mediated or via cell-cell fusion is not established. Transplacental traffic of virus and cells remains a little-studied possibility. Further data are needed regarding the fascinating concept of the placenta as a modulator of infection.

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PMID: 2247293


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