Publications & Reports

Altered phenotype and function of NK cells infiltrating human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated genital warts during HIV infection.

Alfred Bere, Shahila Tayib, Jean-Mari Kriek, Lindi Masson, Shameem Z Jaumdally, Shaun L Barnabas, William H Carr, Bruce Allan, Anna-Lise Williamson, Lynette Denny, Jo-Ann S Passmore
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine and Division of Medical Virology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.


HIV-infected individuals experience more persistent HPV infections and are less likely to resolve genital warts. This study compared phenotype and functions of NK and T cells from genital warts and blood from 67 women. We compared in vitro functional responses of NK and T cells by multiparametric flow cytometry. HIV+ women had significantly lower frequencies of CD4 T cells in warts (p = 0.001) and blood (p = 0.001). While the distribution of NK cell subsets was similar, HIV+ women tended to have lower frequencies of CD56(Dim) NK cells in both blood (p = 0.0001) and warts (p = 0.006) than HIV- women. Wart NK cells from HIV+ women expressed significantly lower CD107a and produced IFN-gamma. HAART status was not associated with differences in NK cell functionality. We conclude that wart NK cells from HIV+ women have defects in their ability to degranulate and/or secrete IFN-gamma, which may provide insights into why HIV+ women fail to spontaneously resolve genital warts.


  • Journal: Clinical Immunology
  • Published: 01/02/2014
  • Volume: 150
  • Issue: 2
  • Pagination: 210-219