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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1989 Oct;5(5):517-23.

ELISPOT: a new approach to studying the dynamics of virus-immune system interaction for diagnosis and monitoring of HIV infection.

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Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA.


A new approach to detect and enumerate HIV-specific antibody-secreting cells (ASC) in the peripheral blood was developed using the enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) methodology. ASC to an HIV envelope recombinant protein were demonstrated in 75% of 16 adults and 72% of 21 children with untreated AIDS or ARC and in 63% of 34 asymptomatically infected adults but in none of the 51 HIV antibody-negative individuals. Only 1 of the 13 adults receiving AZT therapy yielded a positive reaction, and 27% of the 30 infants born to seropositive mothers were found to have HIV-ASC. The number of HIV-ASC in positive individuals varied from 8 to 202 per 10(6) circulating mononuclear cells. The reactivity was specifically inhibited by soluble HIV antigen and was abrogated by cycloheximide, indicating that the observed reaction was the result of de novo synthesis of HIV-specific antibodies. Nonspecific polyclonal B cell activation was unlikely to be responsible for the results observed as no reactivity was found to a common antigen, tetanus toxoid. Since circulating antigen-specific ASC reflect persistent or recent antigenic stimulation, our findings indicate that this new approach could provide a dynamic perspective of the natural course of virus-immune system interactions in individuals infected with HIV, as well as in those undergoing prophylactic or therapeutic interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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