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J Infect Dis. 2008 Mar 15;197(6):871-9. doi: 10.1086/528695.

A nonprogressive clinical course in HIV-infected individuals expressing human leukocyte antigen B57/5801 is associated with preserved CD8+ T lymphocyte responsiveness to the HW9 epitope in Nef.

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Sanquin Research, Landsteiner Laboratory, and Center for Infectious Diseases and Immunity Amsterdam at the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) B57 allele and the closely related HLA-B5801 allele are overrepresented among human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals with a long-term nonprogressive clinical course of disease (known as "long-term nonprogressors" [LTNPs]). These alleles are, however, also present among individuals with normal disease progression (known as "progressors"). In a comparison of HLA-B57/5801-expressing progressors and LTNPs, we observed a similar prevalence of escape mutations in 4 Nef epitopes and a similar reactivity of CD8+ T cells against 3 of 4 of these epitopes and their autologous escape variants. However, LTNPs tended to have frequent and preserved CD8+ T cell interferon-gamma responses against the wild-type HW9 Nef epitope, whereas progressors did not maintain a specific CD8+ T cell response. This finding is in line with the findings of a more exhausted phenotype of CD8+ T cells in progressors, as is demonstrated by their enhanced level of expression of inhibitory receptor "programmed death 1" (PD-1). The results of the present study suggest that preservation of HW9-specific T cell responses is associated with a more benign clinical course of infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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