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Cellular immune responses play a critical role in the control of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), but less is known about the impact of transmission routes on immune defenses against HIV-1. Here, we report that subjects infected with HIV-1 through contaminated blood showed stronger HIV-specific T cell responses than those infected through mucosa, both in breadth (6.9±2.5 vs. 2.3±0.5, p=0.0293) and in magnitude [1270.0±544.9 vs. 409.5±121.3 SFU per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), p=0.0223], by using a matrix of 404 overlapping peptides spanning all expressed HIV-1 proteins in an interferon (IFN)-γ enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assay. Our observation indicates that different mechanisms might be involved in the priming/generating of anti-HIV-specific T cell responses through different transmission routes.

Original publication




Journal article


AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses

Publication Date





89 - 93


CD4 Lymphocyte Count, China, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Female, HIV Infections, HIV-1, Humans, Immunity, Cellular, Male, Substance Abuse, Intravenous, T-Lymphocytes, Transfusion Reaction