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Clin Chem Lab Med. 2002 Sep;40(9):903-10.

The ELISPOT assay: an easily transferable method for measuring cellular responses and identifying T cell epitopes.

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AIDS Research Unit, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Characterization of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I restricted epitopes derived from viral pathogens is imperative for formulating therapeutic interventions, as well as for vaccine design and monitoring. Sensitive, easy and cost-effective assays that measure the frequency of antigen-specific T lymphocytes are crucial for evaluating and improving vaccines and therapies. This paper reviews the ELISPOT technique that allows for quantifying HIV-specific T lymphocytes at the single cell level from peripheral blood by detection of antigen-induced cytokine secretion. The assay can be used successfully to quantify T cell immune responses in humans infected with different pathogens and to assess T cell immunogenicity of vaccines in phase I/II and III clinical trials. This review focuses on the ELISPOT methodology and discusses how it can be standardized and potentially used by multiple international laboratories attached to clinical trial sites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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