Dr Lenine Liebenberg


Dr Lenine Liebenberg


+27 (0)31 260 4767




Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine 

Research Interests

HIV prevention research


Research Associate (CAPRISA)


Dr. Lenine Liebenberg, Ph.D. is a Research Associate at the CAPRISA Mucosal Immunology Laboratory.  Her research interests centre on investigating protein and cellular biomarkers of genital immune activation and inflammation, their various causes, and the consequences to the risk of HIV acquisition and transmission. She has documented methods to improve genital cell isolation from men and women, methods to facilitate genital cellular immune responses in multicentre studies, and has characterised genital and systemic immune parameters facilitating HIV infection, viral shedding and HIV transmission.

List of publications 
  1. Archary D, Seaton KE, Passmore JS, Werner L, Deal A, Dunphy LJ, Arnold KB, Yates NL, Lauffenburger DA, Bergin P, Liebenberg LJ, Samsunder N, Mureithi MW, Altfeld M, Garrett N, Abdool Karim Q, Abdool Karim S, Morris L, Tomaras GD. Distinct genital tract HIV-specific antibody profiles associated with tenofovir gel. Mucosal Immunol. 2016 Jan 27. doi: 10.1038/mi.2015.145.
  2. Arnold KB, Burgener A, Birse K, Romas L, Dunphy LJ, Shahabi K, Abou M, Westmacott GR, McCorrister S, Kwatampora J, Nyanga B, Kimani J, Masson L, Liebenberg LJ, Abdool Karim SS, Passmore JA, Lauffenburger DA, Kaul R, McKinnon LR.Increased levels of inflammatory cytokines in the female reproductive tract are associated with altered expression of proteases, mucosal barrier proteins, and an influx of HIV-susceptible target cells. Mucosal Immunol. 2016 Jan;9(1):194-205. doi: 10.1038/mi.2015.51.
  3. Masson L, Passmore JA, Liebenberg LJ, Werner L, Baxter C, Arnold KB, Williamson C, Little F, Mansoor LE, Naranbhai V, Lauffenburger DA, Ronacher K, Walzl G, Garrett NJ, Williams BL, Couto-Rodriguez M, Hornig M, Lipkin WI, Grobler A, Abdool Karim Q, Abdool Karim SS. Genital inflammation and the risk of HIV acquisition in women. Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Jul 15;61(2):260-9. doi: 10.1093/cid/civ298.
  4. Archary D, Liebenberg LJ, Werner L, Tulsi S, Majola N, Naicker N, Dlamini S, Hope TJ, Samsunder N, Abdool Karim SS, Morris L, Passmore JA, Garrett NJ. Randomized Cross-Sectional Study to Compare HIV-1 Specific Antibody and Cytokine Concentrations in Female Genital Secretions Obtained by Menstrual Cup and Cervicovaginal Lavage. PLoS One. 2015 Jul 6;10(7):e0131906. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131906.
  5. Rametse CL, Olivier AJ, Masson L, Barnabas S, McKinnon LR, Ngcapu S, Liebenberg LJ, Jaumdally SZ, Gray CM, Jaspan HB, Passmore JA. Role of semen in altering the balance between inflammation and tolerance in the female genital tract: does it contribute to HIV risk? Viral Immunol. 2014 Jun;27(5):200-6. doi: 10.1089/vim.2013.0136.
  6. Roberts L, Liebenberg L, Barnabas S, Passmore JA. Vaginal microbicides to prevent human immunodeficiency virus infection in women: perspectives on the female genital tract, sexual maturity and mucosal inflammation. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2012 Aug;26(4):441-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2012.02.002.
  7. Olivier AJ, Liebenberg LJ, Coetzee D, Williamson AL, Passmore JA, Burgers WA. Isolation and characterization of T cells from semen. J Immunol Methods. 2012 Jan 31;375(1-2):223-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2011.11.001.
  8. Jaspan HB, Liebenberg L, Hanekom W, Burgers W, Coetzee D, Williamson AL, Little F, Myer L, Coombs RW, Sodora D, Passmore JA. Immune activation in the female genital tract during HIV infection predicts mucosal CD4 depletion and HIV shedding. J Infect Dis. 2011 Nov 15;204(10):1550-6. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jir591.
  9. Liebenberg LJ, Gamieldien H, Mkhize NN, Jaumdally SZ, Gumbi PP, Denny L, Passmore JA. Stability and transport of cervical cytobrushes for isolation of mononuclear cells from the female genital tract. J Immunol Methods. 2011 Mar 31;367(1-2):47-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2011.01.013.
  10. Mkhize NN, Gumbi PP, Liebenberg LJ, Ren Y, Smith P, Denny L, Passmore JA. Persistence of genital tract T cell responses in HIV-infected women on highly active antiretroviral therapy. J Virol. 2010 Oct;84(20):10765-72. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00518-10.
  11. Liebenberg LJ, Adedeji AL, Martin DP, Gumbi PP, Denny L, Passmore JA. CD57 expression by T cells in the female genital tract of HIV-zx1 infected women. Clin Immunol. 2010 Apr;135(1):137-45. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2009.12.007. 


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