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J Virol. 2006 Nov;80(22):10950-6. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

Virus-specific cellular immune correlates of survival in vaccinated monkeys after simian immunodeficiency virus challenge.

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  • 1Division of Viral Pathogenesis, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, RE113, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Understanding the characteristics of the virus-specific T-lymphocyte response that will confer optimal protection against the clinical progression of AIDS will inform the development of an effective cellular immunity-based human immunodeficiency virus vaccine. We have recently shown that survival in plasmid DNA-primed/recombinant adenovirus-boosted rhesus monkeys that are challenged with the simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmac251 is associated with the preservation postchallenge of central memory CD4(+) T lymphocytes and robust gamma interferon (IFN-gamma)-producing SIV-specific CD8(+) and CD4(+) T-lymphocyte responses. The present studies were initiated to extend these observations to determine which virus-specific T-lymphocyte subpopulations play a primary role in controlling disease progression and to characterize the functional repertoire of these cells. We show that the preservation of the SIV-specific central memory CD8(+) T-lymphocyte population and a linked SIV-specific CD4(+) T-lymphocyte response are associated with prolonged survival in vaccinated monkeys following challenge. Furthermore, we demonstrate that SIV-specific IFN-gamma-, tumor necrosis factor alpha-, and interleukin-2-producing T lymphocytes are all comparably associated with protection against disease progression. These findings underscore the contribution of virus-specific central memory T lymphocytes to controlling clinical progression in vaccinated individuals following a primate immunodeficiency virus infection.

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