Bermejo Jambrina Marta,

University / Clinic: Medical University Innsbruck
Institute: Division of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology
Research Area: Immunology, Host-pathogen interactions, Cell Biology


  Funded by: FWF

Research Topic:
The mechanisms by which some individuals are able to control HIV infection and progression in contrast to rapidly progressing individuals are poorly understood. Viral control occurs early during infection and upon entry of viruses via mucosal surfaces immediate non-specific innate immune responses are spontaneously triggered - within a short time the innate immune system is completely activated. The complement system plays a crucial role during viral infection in regard to both innate and adaptive immune responses.
Dendritic cells (DCs) possess intrinsic cellular defense mechanisms to specifically inhibit HIV-1 replication. Thus, DCs are productively infected only at very low levels with HIV-1 and this non-permissiveness of DCs is suggested to go along with viral evasion. We previously showed that complement-opsonized HIV (HIV-C) was able to productively infect various DC subsets significantly higher than non-opsonized HIV (HIV) or antibody-opsonized HIV (HIV-Ig). Only HIV-C, which bypassed restriction in DCs, but not HIV or HIV-Ig, induced efficient virus-specific innate and adaptive immune responses. Therefore, in this project proposal we want to unravel in detail how differentially opsonized HIV particles enter DCs and how this entry affects signaling and antigen presentation of various DC subsets.

Selected publications: