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Dendritic cells
Jan 11, 2003

I know that DC cells (Langerhans) are found also in the epidermis.

Do you think that these epidermal cells (not the ones found in mucosa) could be infected from HIV?

If yes, this means that even some breaks in the skin could be a potential open door for hiv?

Thank you in advance Giuseppe - Italy

Response from Dr. Holodniy

These cells can indeed be infected by HIV. Numerous papers have established this fact. Perhaps skin breaks could be a potential portal of entry. Numerous factors would have to be weighed in this question, including how old the skin break was, inoculum size, underlying immune system and genetics of the person, etc.



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