The Dual Role of Neutrophils in HIV Infection

Tiffany Hensley-McBain, Nichole R. Klatt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: We summarize what is known about neutrophils in HIV infection, focusing on their potential roles in HIV protection, acquisition, and pathogenesis. Recent Findings: Recent studies have demonstrated that neutrophil-associated proteins and cytokines in genital tissue pre-infection associate with HIV acquisition. However, recent in vivo assessment of highly exposed seronegative individuals and in vitro studies of anti-HIV functions of neutrophils add to older literature evidence that neutrophils may be important in a protective response to HIV infection. Summary: Neutrophils are important for containment of pathogens but can also contribute to tissue damage due to their release of reactive oxygen species, proteases, and other potentially harmful effector molecules. Overall, there is a clear evidence for both helpful and harmful roles of neutrophils in HIV acquisition and pathogenesis. Further study, particularly of tissue neutrophils, is needed to elucidate the kinetics, phenotype, and functionality of neutrophils in HIV infection to better understand this dichotomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent HIV/AIDS Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV infection
  • HIV mucosal dysfunction
  • HIV protection
  • Mucosal immunology
  • Neutrophils
  • Tissue damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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