This survey covers the immunological background to development of an HIV vaccine, starting from an overview of present understanding of the mechanisms of immunoregulation. It follows the uptake, processing and presentation of an antigen, from its initial uptake by a dendritic cell and its deposit on the dendrites of follicular dendritic cells. It pursues the antigen through uptake by B cells, presentation of epitopes to helper T cells and the eventual production of antibody. In the second arm of the immune response it follows synapse formation between dendritic cell and CD4/CD8 cells leading to production of CTL. It identifies epitope linkage as a key element in directing these pathways. It identifies the principal functions of the various types of cell cooperation. Continuing, it focuses on topics relevant to vaccine development: Th1/Th2 balance: new adjuvants based on ligands of TLRs and other activators of innate immunity, as well as new forms of intervention in antigen processing. We urge that the new vaccine fusion constructs be evaluated against a fusion gold standard rather than against antigen alone. These considerations open new strategies of HIV vaccine development. . Finally we urge that vaccine trials should include storage of individual DNA samples, in order to gain better understanding of the genetic parameters of vaccine efficacy.
Keywords: immunological synapse, dendritic cell, activators, dna vaccine, lentivirus, snp
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