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Ian

Potentially very relevant to the recent adenovirus vaccine/enhancement of disease phenomenon, right?

Richard Jefferys

I think very possibly, particularly given some recent evidence that Ad5 vectors may persist longer than had been thought. My understanding is that Juliana McElrath's group is undertaking a detailed investigation of this possibility. A big part of the conundrum with immune activation seems to be separating the good from the bad; controllers also typically have HIV-specific memory T cell responses (and are enriched for certain HLA types, particularly B*57, which is associated not just with viral control but better clinical outcomes) and so the activation of some HIV-specific T cell responses is presumably good. But perhaps being exposed before a memory response has rested down is bad? Or if the particular vaccine vector also potently activates pre-existing vector-specific CD4 T cell responses, then an activation-related impact on susceptibility seems distinctly possible.

Ian

enriched for certain HLA types, particularly B*57, which is associated not just with viral control but better clinical outcomes

Although note the recent study that hinted the resistance associated with B57 may actually be linked to an endogenous retrovirus linked to the allele:
"A Whole-Genome Association Study of Major Determinants for Host Control of HIV-1" (DOI: 10.1126/science.1143767) (I talked about it at www.iayork.com/MysteryRays/2007/08/20/, a while ago.)

Richard Jefferys

Bit late catching up with this, I think that the possibility is interesting, there's been a lot of intriguing information about HERVs appearing recently. The New Yorker just published a long article by Michael Specter which is now available online:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/12/03/071203fa_fact_specter

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