In order to induce a therapeutic T lymphocyte response, recombinant viral vaccines are designed to target professional antigen-presenting cells (APC) such as dendritic cells (DC). A key requirement for their use in humans is safe and efficient gene delivery. The present study assesses third-generation lentivectors with respect to their ability to transduce human and mouse DC and to induce antigen-specific CD8+ T-cell responses. We demonstrate that third-generation lentivectors transduce DC with a superior efficiency compared to adenovectors. The transfer of DC transduced with a recombinant lentivector encoding an antigenic epitope resulted in a strong specific CD8+ T-cell response in mice. The occurrence of lower proportions of nonspecifically activated CD8+ cells suggests a lower antivector immunity of lentivector compared to adenovector. Thus, lentivectors, in addition to their promise for gene therapy of brain disorders might also be suitable for immunotherapy.