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Trends Immunol. 2007 Dec;28(12):532-40. Epub 2007 Nov 5.

HIV controllers: how do they tame the virus?

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Unité de Régulation des Infections Rétrovirales, Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Dr Roux, 75725 Paris Cedex 15, France.


HIV controllers are rare, chronically HIV-1-infected patients in whom viral replication is undetectable in the absence of antiretroviral treatment. Most such patients are nonetheless infected by replication-competent viruses. An effective, multifunctional HIV-specific CD8(+) T-cell response is thought to be central to viral control in these individuals. The mechanisms underlying this spontaneous control of HIV infection and the particular characteristics of the CD8(+) T-cell response in HIV controllers are the focus of intensive investigations, because they should help to unravel the pathogenesis of AIDS and to provide new clues for the design of effective vaccine strategies. In this review, we examine recent findings from these studies.

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