Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
AIDS. 2009 Apr 27;23(7):789-98. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e328329c784.

Identification of human immunodeficiency virus-1 specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses in perinatally-infected infants and their mothers.

Author information

AIDS Virus Research Unit, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Sandringham 2131, South Africa.



There are few data describing the specificity, breadth and magnitude of T cell responses to HIV-1 in infancy.


HIV-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses to peptide pools representing Gag, Env, Pol, Nef and the regulatory regions (Reg) were simultaneously measured in 18 perinatally-infected infants and 14 of their chronically-infected mothers, using a whole blood interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma flow cytometric intracellular cytokine staining assay.


HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses were detected in all the infants aged 6 weeks and older (range 0.1-6.62%) and their mothers (range 0.1-4.89%). HIV-specific CD4+ T cell responses were detected in 33% of the infants (range 0.11-0.54%) and 73% of the mothers (range 0.16-0.84). CD8+ T cell responses in the mothers were almost equally spread between the variable (Nef, Reg and Env) and conserved proteins (Gag and Pol). Conversely, CD8+ T cell responses to the more variable proteins dominated in the perinatally-infected infants comprising 74% of the total response. Interestingly, mothers and infants shared responses to at least one peptide pool, whereas only one mother-infant pair shared a peptide pool targeted by CD4+ T cells. Two in-utero-infected infants tested at birth had CD8+ T cell responses, and one of them had an Env-specific CD4 T cell response.


Our observations that HIV-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses can be detected in perinatally-infected infants from 6 weeks of age and that CD8+ T cell responses predominantly target the variable proteins have important implications for HIV vaccine design.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center