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AIDS Weekly Plus
Findings from Johns Hopkins University Broaden Understanding of HIV/AIDS
Staff Writer
January 27, 2014

2014 JAN 27 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at AIDS Weekly -- Data detailed on Immune System Diseases and Conditions have been presented. According to news originating from Baltimore, Maryland, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "Elite Controllers or Suppressors (ES) are HIV-1 positive individuals who maintain plasma viral loads below the limit of detection of standard clinical assays without antiretroviral therapy. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that the control of viral replication in these patients is due to a strong and specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Johns Hopkins University, "The ability of CD8(+) T cells to control HIV-1 replication is believed to be impaired by the development of escape mutations. Surprisingly, viruses amplified from the plasma of ES have been shown to contain multiple escape mutations, and it is not clear how immunologic control is maintained in the face of virologic escape. We investigated the effect of escape mutations within HLA*B-57-restricted Gag epitopes on the CD8(+) T cell mediated suppression of HIV-1 replication. Using site directed mutagenesis, we constructed six NL4-3 based viruses with canonical escape mutations in one to three HLA*B-57-restricted Gag epitopes. Interestingly, similar levels of CTL-mediated suppression of replication in autologous primary CD4(+) T cells were observed for all of the escape mutants. Intracellular cytokine staining was performed in order to determine the mechanisms involved in the suppression of the escape variants. While low baseline CD8(+) T cells responses to wild type and escape variant peptides were seen, stimulation of PBMC with either wild type or escape variant peptides resulted in increased IFN-. and perforin expression. These data presented demonstrate that CD8(+) T cells from ES are capable of suppressing replication of virus harboring escape mutations in HLA-B*57-restricted Gag epitopes."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Additionally, our data suggest that ES CD8(+) T cells are capable of generating effective de novo responses to escape mutants."

For more information on this research see: CD8(+) T cells from HLA-B*57 elite suppressors effectively suppress replication of HIV-1 escape mutants. Retrovirology, 2013;10():1-12. Retrovirology can be contacted at: Biomed Central Ltd, 236 Grays Inn Rd, Floor 6, London WC1X 8HL, England. (BioMed Central -; Retrovirology -

The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from C.W. Pohlmeyer, Johns Hopkins University, Sch Med, Howard Hughes Med Inst, Baltimore, MD 21205, United States. Additional authors for this research include R.W. Buckheit, R.F. Siliciano and J.N. Blankson (see also Immune System Diseases and Conditions).

Keywords for this news article include: Antigens, Maryland, Epitopes, HIV/AIDS, Baltimore, gag Genes, Immunology, RNA Viruses, Viral Genes, Retroviridae, United States, HIV Infections, Genetic Phenomena, Genome Components, Genetic Structures, Vertebrate Viruses, Primate Lentiviruses, North and Central America, Viral Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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