The question of whether persistently seronegative persons at high risk for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection exhibit HIV-1-specific T cell responses and antibodies to HIV-1 envelope epitopes shared with selected HLAs was assessed. These antibodies are not detectable by conventional serologic methods. Envelope-specific helper T (Env-Th) cell responses and antibodies specific for the HIV/HLA epitopes were studied in 21 HIV-1-negative injection drug users (IDUs). HIV/HLA antibodies were detected in 7 (33.3%) of 21 IDUs and 4 (4.3%) of 94 low-risk controls. Env-Th cell responses were detected in 16 (76.2%) of 21 IDUs and in 2 (3.1%) of 65 low- risk controls. All HIV/HLA antibody-positive IDUs also had Env-Th cell responses. These findings confirm the presence of HIV-1-specific immunity in conventionally seronegative individuals. Further characterization of these responses could provide the basis for new preventive strategies.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Infectious Diseases|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|