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Nat Rev Immunol. 2010 Jan;10(1):11-23. doi: 10.1038/nri2674. Epub 2009 Dec 11.

The immune response during acute HIV-1 infection: clues for vaccine development.

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Medical Research Council Human Immunology Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.


The early immune response to HIV-1 infection is likely to be an important factor in determining the clinical course of disease. Recent data indicate that the HIV-1 quasispecies that arise following a mucosal infection are usually derived from a single transmitted virus. Moreover, the finding that the first effective immune responses drive the selection of virus escape mutations provides insight into the earliest immune responses against the transmitted virus and their contributions to the control of acute viraemia. Strong innate and adaptive immune responses occur subsequently but they are too late to eliminate the infection. In this Review, we discuss recent studies on the kinetics and quality of early immune responses to HIV-1 and their implications for developing a successful preventive HIV-1 vaccine.

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