By eliminating infected cells, virus-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL) play a central role in host protection. Many studies to date seem to support the concept that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific CTL responses contribute to the control of viral replication, and thus delay the onset of disease. The feasibility of improving the virus-specific T-cell immunity by immunizing during the asymptomatic phase of infection has been studied in man. DNA vaccination is a novel strategy, involving direct inoculation of genetic material that is capable of producing antigen intracellularly for presentation to CTL. Such DNA-based immunization has been shown in animal models to be effective for the induction of both cellular and humoral immune responses as well as for protection from infectious challenge. This article reviews the cell-mediated immune responses in natural HIV-1 infection and the induction by DNA vaccination in humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)