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BACKGROUND: To control HIV globally, a comprehensive understanding of host immunity to HIV in different human populations is needed. Relatively, little is known on the quantity and quality of HIV-specific T-cell responses in Chinese patients. METHODS: We quantified HIV Gag-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells that are capable of producing interferon (IFN)-gamma and interleukin 2 and assessed their proliferative capacity in a cohort of 53 antiretroviral-naive chronically HIV-1-infected Chinese patients. RESULTS: The proliferation of Gag-specific CD8+ T cells, but not their IFN-gamma or interleukin 2 production, was inversely proportional to HIV viral load and directly proportional to CD4+ T-cell counts. Gag-specific CD8+ T-cell proliferation was proportionate to the frequency of IFN-gamma-secreting CD8+ T cells. Such correlations, however, did not exist for Gag-specific CD4 T cells. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that good quality and large quantities of HIV Gag-specific T-cell responses are associated with virologic control in HIV-1-infected Chinese patients. We infer that protective T-cell vaccines tested in other populations should also provide benefit to the Chinese population.

Original publication




Journal article


J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr

Publication Date





1 - 8


Adult, CD4 Lymphocyte Count, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cell Proliferation, China, Chronic Disease, Cohort Studies, Female, HIV Infections, HIV-1, Humans, Interferon-gamma, Interleukin-2, Male, Middle Aged, Viral Load, Viremia, gag Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus