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J Infect Dis. 2003 Jan 15;187(2):226-42. Epub 2003 Jan 6.

Moving to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 vaccine efficacy trials: defining T cell responses as potential correlates of immunity.

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Program in Infectious Diseases, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.


There is evidence in both simian immunodeficiency virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 infection that class I major histocompatibility complex-restricted CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes play a pivotal role in controlling infection and, potentially, in protecting by immunization. Progress has been made in designing strategies to elicit these responses with HIV-1 vaccines, but methods to reproducibly quantify them have posed difficulties. An interferon-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot assay, using peptide pools spanning the HIV-1 genes, was developed and standardized. This method is rapid (2 days), sensitive (threshold of detection, > or =0.005%), quantitative, feasible using cryopreserved cells, and able to define epitope specificities. When this assay was applied to 36 HIV-1-seropositive and 10 HIV-1-seronegative subjects, it proved to be robust (specificity, 100%). When responses in natural infection were compared with vaccine-induced responses, vaccine recipient responses were > or =1 log lower, which confirms the importance of using this sensitive assay as an initial screen in vaccine protocols.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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