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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Elite control of HIV infection: implications for vaccines

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Retrovirology20063 (Suppl 1) :S16

  • Published:


  • Infected Person
  • Realistic Goal
  • Individual Heterogeneity
  • Vaccine Protection
  • Generation Vaccine

Although development of an effective AIDS vaccine to provide sterilizing immunity remains an elusive goal, vaccine protection from disease progression has been achieved in animal models, supporting this approach as a realistic goal for first generation vaccines for humans. The global epidemic would be expected to contract as long as viral load could be durably sustained at levels below 2000 RNA copies/ml, a level at which the probability of transmission and of disease progression are markedly reduced. Such control occurs in a subset of infected persons, but the immune responses in these persons have not been systematically defined. Here we examine HIV-specific cellular and humoral immune function in persons who have achieved such viral control without the need for medications, including those who maintain plasma virus below the level of detection (< 50–75 copies/ml, aviremic controllers, n = 64), persons with persistent low level viremia (75–2000 copies, viremic controllers, n = 60) and persons with chronic uncontrolled infection (n = 30). Results to be presented indicate substantial individual heterogeneity in adaptive immune responses among HIV controllers, and none of the parameters tested predicts the ability to contain virus. These results have important implications for current HIV vaccine development strategies aimed at durable maintenance of low level viremia.

Authors’ Affiliations

Partners AIDS Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Division of AIDS, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02129, USA
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815, USA
Fenway Community Health Care Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA
Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02130, USA
Monogram Biosciences, Inc., San Francisco, California 94080, USA
San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California 94102, USA


© Pereyra et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2006

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.