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Understanding animal models of elite control: windows on effective immune responses against immunodeficiency viruses

Mudd, Philip Aa,b; Watkins, David Ia,c

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: May 2011 - Volume 6 - Issue 3 - p 197–201
doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e3283453e16
Elite controllers: Edited by Steven G. Deeks, Alexandre Harari and Joel Blankson

Purpose of review We will summarize recent advances in research regarding control of simian immunodeficiency virus replication in nonhuman primate models. We will then relate these findings to the broader field of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine development.

Recent findings Recent studies have highlighted the importance of T-cell responses in elite control, especially CD8+ T-cell responses and provide insight into the kinetics and qualities of such effective responses. Additionally, these findings suggest that the peptides bound by elite control-associated major histocompatibility complex class I molecules in monkeys and humans share many properties.

Summary Animal models of effective immune control of immunodeficiency virus replication have provided important insight into the components of successful immune responses against these viruses. Similarities between the human and nonhuman primate responses to immunodeficiency viruses should help us understand the nature of elite control. Further study of the acute phase, in which virus replication is first brought under control, may help define important characteristics of viral control that could be engendered by a successful HIV vaccine.

aDepartment of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, USA

bMedical Scientist Training Program, USA

cWisconsin National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Correspondence to David I. Watkins, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 555 Science Dr., Madison, WI 53711, USA Tel: +1 608 265 3380; fax: +1 608 265 8084; e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.