Mechanisms of HIV Non-progression; Robust and Sustained CD4+ T-cell Proliferative Responses to P24 Antigen Correlate With Control of Viraemia and Lack of Disease Progression After Long-term Transfusion-acquired HIV-1 Infection

Wayne B. Dyer; John J. Zaunders; Fang Fang Yuan; Bin Wang; Jennifer C. Learmont; Andrew F. Geczy; Nitin K. Saksena; Dale A. McPhee; Paul R. Gorry; John S. Sullivan



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Our studies have demonstrated that host and viral genetic factors can contribute to delayed disease progression, but the single immunological factor that functionally defined non-progression was Gag-specific CD4 T cell proliferation. The maintenance of this p24-specific response does not require detectable viral replication for antigenic stimulation.[41] Detectable p24-specific T cell proliferation defines the immunocompetent recall response to viral antigen, and when spikes of viral replication were detected in these individuals, these cells likely provided T cell help for maintaining functional antiviral effector responses by other CD4 and CD8 T cells, including non-cytolytic antiviral mechanisms,[41] and may also provide T cell help for efficient generation of NAb by HIV-specific B cells. We have demonstrated that a decline in this protective p24 response in slow progressors either preceded or coincided with classic signs of disease progression.


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