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- Variants ILK(D/E)PVHGV are A/B clade specific.
- ELISPOT was used to study CTL responses to a panel of 54 predefined HIV-1 epitopes in 91 HIV-1-exposed, persistently seronegative (HEPS) and 87 HIV-1-infected female Nairobi sex workers.
- Responses in HEPS women tended to be lower, and focused on different epitopes with HLA presenting molecules that have previously been associated with reduced risk of infection, and there was a shift in the response in the HEPS women upon late seroconversion to epitopes recognized by the HIV-1 infected women.
- 43/91 HEPS women had CD8+ responses and detection of HIV-1-specific CTL in HEPS women increased with the duration of viral exposure.
- Among HLA-A2 women, 7/10 HEPS and 14/26 HIV-1 infected women recognized this epitope, and ILK(D/E)PVHGV tended to be more reactive in HEPS women, SL(F/Y)NTVATL in infected women.
- The dominant response to this HLA allele was to this epitope in all 7/10 HEPS cases but in only 5 of the 14/26 HIV-1 infected women.
- Four epitopes were considered to be ``resistant epitopes'', as they were preferentially reactive in HEPS women and so may confer resistance, and these were found in three different proteins: A2 ILK(D/E)PVHGV in RT, A*6802 DTVLEDINL in Protease, B14 DLN(M/T)LN(I/V)V in p24 and B18 FRDYVDRF(Y/F)K also in p24.
- Differences in epitope specificity were only seen for responses restricted by class I HLA alleles A2, A24, A*6802, B14, and B18, previously shown to be associated with resistance to HIV-1 in this cohort.
- Subject ML 1250 had an A2 response to ILK(D/E)PVHGV prior to seroconversion, which switched to SL(F/Y)NTVATL post-seroconversion.
- Subject ML 1760 had an A2 response to ILK(D/E)PVHGV prior to seroconversion, and gained responses to epitopes A2 SL(F/Y)NTVATL and B27 KRWII(L/M)GLNK post-seroconversion.
R. Kaul, T. Dong, F. A. Plummer, J. Kimani, T. Rostron, P. Kiama, E. Njagi, E. Irungu, B. Farah, J. Oyugi, R. Chakraborty, K. S. MacDonald, J. J. Bwayo, A. McMichael, and S. L. Rowland-Jones. CD8(+) lymphocytes respond to different HIV epitopes in seronegative and infected subjects. J. Clin. Invest., 107(10):1303-10, May 2001. URL: http://www.jci.org/cgi/content/full/107/10/1303. PubMed ID: 11375420.
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