Virus-specific CD8+ T-cell responses better define HIV disease progression than HLA genotype.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of virology, Volume 84, Issue 9, p.4461-8 (2010)


2010, CD4 Lymphocyte Count, Clinical Research Division, DISEASE PROGRESSION, Female, Flow Cytometry Core Facility, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genotype, HIV Infections, HIV-1, HLA Antigens, Humans, Male, Shared Resources, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Viral Load


HLA alleles B57/58, B27, and B35 have the strongest genetic associations with HIV-1 disease progression. The mechanisms of these relationships may be host control of HIV-1 infection via CD8(+) T-cell responses. We examined these immune responses in subjects from the Seattle Primary Infection Cohort with these alleles. CD8(+) T-cell responses to conserved HIV epitopes within B57/58 alleles (TW10 and KF11) and B27 alleles (KK10 and FY10) delayed declines in CD4(+) T-cell counts (4 to 8 times longer), while responses to variable epitopes presented by B35 alleles (DL9 and IL9) resulted in more rapid progression. The plasma viral load was higher in B57/58(+) and B27(+) subjects lacking the conserved B57/58- and B27-restricted responses. The presence of certain B57/58-, B27-, and B35-restricted HIV-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses after primary HIV-1 infection better defined disease progression than the HLA genotype alone, suggesting that it is the HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells and not the presence of a particular HLA allele that determine disease progression. Further, the most effective host CD8(+) T-cell responses to HIV-1 were prevalent within an HLA allele, represented a high total allele fraction of the host CD8(+) T-cell response, and targeted conserved regions of HIV-1. These data suggest that vaccine immunogens should contain only conserved regions of HIV-1.