We determined immune cross-recognition and the degree of Tat conservation in patients infected by local human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 strains. The data indicated a similar prevalence of total and epitope-specific anti-Tat IgG in 578 serum samples from HIV-infected Italian (n = 302), Ugandan (n = 139), and South African (n = 137) subjects, using the same B clade Tat protein that is being used in vaccine trials. In particular, anti-Tat antibodies were detected in 13.2%, 10.8%, and 13.9% of HIV-1-infected individuals from Italy, Uganda, and South Africa, respectively. Sequence analysis results indicated a high similarity of Tat from the different circulating viruses with BH-10 Tat, particularly in the 1-58 amino acid region, which contains most of the immunogenic epitopes. These data indicate an effective cross-recognition of a B-clade laboratory strain-derived Tat protein vaccine by individuals infected with different local viruses, owing to the high similarity of Tat epitopes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health