Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Nancy Bigley (Committee Member), Barbara Hull (Committee Member), Dawn Wooley (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Eosinophils express membrane CD4 protein and can bind HIV-1 glycoprotein (gp) 120. Therefore, eosinophils could serve as host cells for HIV-1 infection in vivo, especially in the late phase of the infection. In culture, HIV-1 infects eosinophil precursors and primary eosinophils. Additionally HIV-1 proviral DNA sequences have been detected in the eosinophils of some HIV-1 positive patients. Since elevated levels of eosinophils occur during HIV-1 infection and parasitic infections, it implies that co-infection of parasites and HIV-1 could cause a much greater increase in the level of potential HIV-1 susceptible eosinophils. Therefore HIV-1 infection of eosinophils could partly explain the rapid spread of HIV-1 and the exacerbation of the disease especially in developing countries where HIV-1 and parasitic infections run concurrently. This study is a critical analysis of the current knowledge on HIV-1 infection of eosinophils focused on highlighting evidence that HIV-1 can productively infect mature human eosinophils in HIV/AIDS patients.

Page Count


Department or Program

Microbiology and Immunology

Year Degree Awarded