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Science. 1997 Nov 21;278(5342):1447-50.

Vigorous HIV-1-specific CD4+ T cell responses associated with control of viremia.

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Partners AIDS Research Center and Infectious Disease Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Virus-specific CD4+ T helper lymphocytes are critical to the maintenance of effective immunity in a number of chronic viral infections, but are characteristically undetectable in chronic human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1) infection. In individuals who control viremia in the absence of antiviral therapy, polyclonal, persistent, and vigorous HIV-1-specific CD4+ T cell proliferative responses were present, resulting in the elaboration of interferon-gamma and antiviral beta chemokines. In persons with chronic infection, HIV-1-specific proliferative responses to p24 were inversely related to viral load. Strong HIV-1-specific proliferative responses were also detected following treatment of acutely infected persons with potent antiviral therapy. The HIV-1-specific helper cells are likely to be important in immunotherapeutic interventions and vaccine development.

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