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- Variants FRDYVDRF(Y/F)K are specific for the B,D/A,C clades.
- 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-B18 women, 3/4 HEPS and 1/9 HIV-1 infected women recognized this epitope, likelihood ratio 5.3, p value 0.04, and HEPS women tended to respond to FRDYVDRFY/FK, while infected women tended to respond to YPLTFGWCY/F.
- The dominant response to this HLA allele was to this epitope for all 3/4 HEPS cases and for the single HIV-1 infected women that responded to this epitope.
- 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 DLNM/TLN(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.
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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