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How the cellular immune response copes with diverse antigenic competition is poorly understood. Responses of virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) were examined longitudinally in an individual coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV). CTL responses to all 3 viruses were quantified by limiting dilution analysis and staining with HLA-A*0201 tetrameric complexes folded with HIV-1, EBV, and CMV peptides. A predominance of CMV-pp65-specific CTL was found, with a much lower frequency of CTL to HIV-1 Gag and Pol and to EBV-BMLF1 and LMP2. The high frequency of CMV-specific CTL, compared with HIV-1- and EBV-specific CTL, was confirmed in an additional 16 HLA-A*0201-positive virus-coinfected subjects. Therefore, the human immune system can mount CTL responses to multiple viral antigens simultaneously, albeit with different strengths.

Original publication




Conference paper

Publication Date





165 - 175


Adult, Cross-Sectional Studies, Cytomegalovirus, Cytomegalovirus Infections, Cytotoxicity, Immunologic, Epstein-Barr Virus Infections, HIV Infections, HIV-1, HLA-A Antigens, Herpesviridae Infections, Herpesvirus 4, Human, Humans, Male, T-Lymphocytes