CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses are crucial in establishing the control of persistent virus infections. Population studies of HIV-1-infected individuals suggest that CD8(+) CTL responses targeting epitopes that take the greatest toll on virus replication are instrumental in immune control. A major question for vaccine design is whether incorporating epitopes responsible for controlling a persistent virus will translate into protection from natural infection or serve solely as a fail-safe mechanism to prevent overt disease in infected individuals. Here, we discuss qualitative parameters of the CD8(+) CTL response and mechanisms operative in the control of persistent virus infections and suggest new strategies for design and delivery of HIV vaccines.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.