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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 279391, 9 pages
Research Article

Maintenance or Emergence of Chronic Phase Secondary Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Responses after Loss of Acute Phase Immunodominant Responses Does Not Protect SIV-Infected Rhesus Macaques from Disease Progression

1University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA
2Department of Virology and Immunology, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, 7620 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78227-5301, USA
3Poxvirus and Rabies Branch, Centers for Disease Control, 1600 Clifton Road MS-G06, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
4Southwest National Primate Research Center, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, 7620 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78227-5301, USA

Received 30 November 2009; Revised 19 February 2010; Accepted 9 March 2010

Academic Editor: Kim Klonowski

Copyright © 2010 M. Shannon Keckler et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The simian immunodeficiency virus- (SIV-) infected rhesus macaque is the preferred animal model for vaccine development, but the correlates of protection in this model are not completely understood. In this paper, we document the cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response to SIV and its effects on viral evolution in an effort to identify events associated with disease progression regardless of MHC allele expression. We observed the evolution of epitopes targeted by CTLs in a group of macaques that included long-term nonprogressing (LTNP), slowly progressing (SP), normally progressing (NP), and rapidly progressing (RP) animals. Collectively, our data (1) identify novel CTL epitopes from an SP animal that are not restricted by known protective alleles, (2) illustrate that, in this small study, RP and NP animals accrue more mutations in CTL epitopes than in SP or LTNP macaques, and (3) demonstrate that the loss of CTL responses to immunodominant epitopes is associated with viral replication increases, which are not controlled by secondary CTL responses. These findings provide further evidence for the critical role of the primary cell-mediated immune responses in the control of retroviral infections.