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Lancet. 1997 Nov 29;350(9091):1617-21.

What is required of an HIV vaccine?

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Department of Immunology, Imperial College School of Medicine, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK.


Mounting evidence suggests that the early dissemination of HIV in human beings evokes an immune response that is responsible for containment of the infection during the long symptom-free period. Loss of this immune control coincides with a final escalation of the viraemia and the terminal failure of the immune system. Other studies imply that pre-emptive vaccination of monkeys with attenuated forms of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) produces a substantial degree of resistance to superinfection with fully virulent viruses. Here we consider how observations from natural and experimental systems might influence thought as to what is required to produce safe induced immunity against HIV. We concentrate on three questions: what is the nature of the immune response that contains the infection? How does this response fail? How could a vaccine enhance protective immunity so that it exceeds the efficacy of this natural response?

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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