Lessons learned from natural infection: focusing on the design of protective T cell vaccines for HIV/AIDS

Trends Immunol. 2010 Mar;31(3):120-30. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2009.12.003. Epub 2010 Jan 19.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Vaccines / immunology*
  • Animals
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*


  • AIDS Vaccines