Vaccines designed to bring forth CD8+ T cell responses in different racial and ethnic groups will require inclusion of T cell epitopes presented by various MHC class I molecules. This study was designed to identify new CD8+ T cell epitopes in HIV-infected African American and Hispanic youth as well as to determine the frequency of responses to both novel and previously described HIV-1 epitopes in a cohort of racially and ethnically diverse individuals. We found 8 MHC class I-restricted CD8+ T cell epitopes that had not been previously described, another 8 epitopes that were restricted by class I alleles not previously associated with these epitopes, and 8 additional epitopes that have been described previously. In a larger cohort, we demonstrated that 11 (69%) of these 16 newly described immunogens were recognized by individuals of different race or ethnicity. Most HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cell epitopes identified were either novel or restricted by alternative MHC class I alleles. Frequent recognition of several of these CTL epitopes in persons of diverse racial backgrounds bodes well for the development of a broadly reactive HIV-1 vaccine.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Steffanie Sabbaj, PhD, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, 908 20th Street South, CCB 362, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-2050. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
These data were presented in part at the AIDS Vaccine Meeting; Philadelphia, PA; September 5-8, 2001.
This work was supported by NICHD grant U01 HD32842 awarded to C.M.W., NIAID grant AI-49126 awarded to P.A.G., and NIAID grant AI-41951 awarded to R.A.K.
Manuscript received month day, year; accepted month day, year.
© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.