A strong antigen-specific T-cell response to HIV infection is important for controlling virus replication; however, because HIV selectively infects and replicates in CD4 T cells, increased number of these cells in response to viral infection may also be detrimental as these cells provide fuel for the infection to grow.
In the March 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Mark Feinberg and colleagues, of Emory University Vaccine Center, analyze the specific parameters of T-cell activation that may be harmful or helpful in fighting HIV infection by looking at simian immunodeficiency viral (SIV) replication in rhesus macaques where they have blocked CD4 and CD8 T-cell co-stimulation pathways.
The study provides clear evidence for an important role in the immune activation level directly affects the initial peak of virus in the blood stream. They further show that the steady-state viral levels in chronic infection are directly related to the generation of a primary immune response.
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