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Vaccine. 2010 Aug 2;28(34):5582-90. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.06.033. Epub 2010 Jun 25.

Sublingual immunization with an HIV subunit vaccine induces antibodies and cytotoxic T cells in the mouse female genital tract.

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Inserm, U634, Faculté de Médecine Pasteur, 06107 Nice cedex 2, France.


A vaccine against heterosexual transmission by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) should generate cytotoxic and antibody responses in the female genital tract and in extra-genital organs. We report that sublingual immunization with HIV-1 gp41 and a reverse transcriptase polypeptide coupled to the cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) induced gp41-specific IgA antibodies and antibody-secreting cells, as well as reverse transcriptase-specific CD8 T cells in the genital mucosa, contrary to intradermal immunization. Conjugation of the reverse transcriptase peptide to CTB favored its cross-presentation by human dendritic cells to a T cell line from an HIV(+) patient. Sublingual vaccination could represent a promising vaccine strategy against heterosexual transmission of HIV-1.

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