Cross-clade human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses in HIV-infected Zambians.


We have examined cross-clade HIV-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) activity in peripheral blood of eight Zambian individuals infected with non-B-clade human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Heteroduplex mobility assay and partial sequence analysis of env and gag genes strongly suggests that all the HIV-infected subjects were infected with clade C HIV-1. Six of eight C-clade HIV-infected individuals elicited CTL activity specific for recombinant vaccinia virus-infected autologous targets expressing HIV gag-pol-env derived from B-clade HIV-1 (IIIB). Recognition of individual recombinant HIV-1 B-clade vaccinia virus-infected targets expressing gag, pol, or env was variable among the patients tested, indicating that cross-clade CTL activity is not limited to a single HIV protein. These data demonstrate that HIV clade C-infected individuals can mount vigorous HIV clade B-reactive CTL responses.

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