Success and failure of the cellular immune response against HIV-1

Nat Immunol. 2015 Jun;16(6):563-70. doi: 10.1038/ni.3161.


The cellular immune response to HIV-1 has now been studied in extraordinary detail. A very large body of data provides the most likely reasons that the HIV-specific cellular immune response succeeds in a small number of people but fails in most. Understanding the success and failure of the HIV-specific cellular immune response has implications that extend not only to immunotherapies and vaccines for HIV-1 but also to the cellular immune response in other disease states. This Review focuses on the mechanisms that are most likely responsible for durable and potent immunologic control of HIV-1. Although we now have a detailed picture of the cellular immune responses to HIV-1, important questions remain regarding the nature of these responses and how they arise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Vaccines / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Asymptomatic Diseases
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic / genetics
  • Disease Progression
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / therapy
  • HIV Long-Term Survivors
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • HLA Antigens / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular*
  • Immunotherapy
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • nef Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus / genetics


  • AIDS Vaccines
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • HLA Antigens
  • nef Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • nef protein, Human immunodeficiency virus 1