Background: HIV-1-infected individuals who spontaneously control viral replication represent an example of successful containment of the AIDS virus. Understanding the anti-viral immune responses in these individuals may help in vaccine design. However, immune responses against HIV-1 are normally analyzed using HIV-1 consensus B 15-mers that overlap by 11 amino acids. Unfortunately, this method may underestimate the real breadth of the cellular immune responses against the autologous sequence of the infecting virus.Methodology and Principal Findings: Here we compared cellular immune responses against nef and vif-encoded consensus B 15-mer peptides to responses against HLA class I-predicted minimal optimal epitopes from consensus B and autologous sequences in six patients who have controlled HIV-1 replication. Interestingly, our analysis revealed that three of our patients had broader cellular immune responses against HLA class I-predicted minimal optimal epitopes from either autologous viruses or from the HIV-1 consensus B sequence, when compared to responses against the 15-mer HIV-1 type B consensus peptides. Conclusion and Significance: This suggests that the cellular immune responses against HIV-1 in controller patients may be broader than we had previously anticipated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)