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Volume 6 Supplement 3

AIDS Vaccine 2009

P16-51. Functional characterization of novel SIV epitope specific T cells


SIV infection of the rhesus macaque is currently the best animal model available for HIV infection in humans. However, the regions of SIV that are targeted by T cells, and the subsequent impact of specific targeting on disease progression, are insufficiently documented.


Serially truncated SIVmac239 peptides were used to identify novel epitopes to the 8 mer level, in an IFN-γ ELISPOT assay. MHC restriction analysis was performed using autologous and mismatched B cell lines. Epitope specific T cell lines were analysed for inhibition of virus replication in vitro in a virus suppression assay. Polychromatic flow cytometry was used to identify functional characteristics of epitope specific cells.


Novel epitope specific CD8 T cell responses were identified to the 8 mer level in Indian rhesus macaques vaccinated with SIVmac239 genes as part of a pre-clinical vaccine study, using IFN-γ ELISPOT. The functional properties and differential impact of epitope specific cells on virus replication will be discussed.


The SIVmac239 proteome remains largely unmapped, despite this virus being used as a model in the rhesus macaque for HIV infection. This study provides an insight into novel SIV epitopes and the impact that targeting may have on disease progression.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Winstone, N., Mullen, K., Wilson, A. et al. P16-51. Functional characterization of novel SIV epitope specific T cells. Retrovirology 6 (Suppl 3), P280 (2009).

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