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Vaccine. 2002 Oct 4;20(29-30):3598-612.

Immunological monitoring during therapeutic vaccination as a prerequisite for the design of new effective therapies: induction of a vaccine-specific CD4+ T-cell proliferative response in chronic hepatitis B carriers.

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Medical Department II, Klinikum Grosshadern, University of Munich, Marchioninistrasse 15, 81377, Munich, Germany.


We characterized the anti-viral T-cell response in 22 chronically infected patients, who participated in a European multi-center randomized placebo-controlled, double-blind study therapeutic vaccination trial with pre-S1, pre-S2 and S antigenic components of the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It induced a significant HBsAg-specific T-cell proliferation and the production of Th2-cytokines (i.e. IL-5). A specific induction of Th1-lymphokines was not detectable although this has been demonstrated in this study in response to the nucleocapsid protein (HBcAg). Further analysis indicated that this approach does not activate HBV-specific CD8+ T-lymphocytes as detected by ELISPOT-assay. Our results might explain why a specific therapeutic vaccine, although safe and well-tolerated is not always able to break tolerance leading to the clearance of the hepatitis B virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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