Cytotoxic T lymphocytes, or CD8+ T cells, play an important role in the control of replication of HIV. Inducing effective and durable HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses are. therefore, a major objective in prophylactic and curative strategies for HIV infection. To evaluate such strategies, reliable immunological assays are needed that measure the capacity of CD8+ T cells to exert their effector functions and control viremia. Classical immunological assays such as interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) enzyme-linked immunospot or intracellular cytokine staining measure the production of one or several effector molecules but do not actually show suppression of viral replication. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these assays do not correlate with either prevention of infection or lower viral set-points after infection. Therefore, more relevant assays are needed which directly measure the viral inhibitory activity (VIA) of CD8+ T cells and are more likely to predict success or failure of different immune interventions. The present review discusses the methodology of the VIA in detail as well as the practical implications of the several variations that have been described. We then go onto discuss existent literature on the relationship between VIA and HIV control, give an overview of examples where VIA has been induced or boosted in vivo or in vitro, and finally discuss observed associations between VIA and other immunological parameters. We conclude that while VIA is complex and laborious, it provides functional information about CD8+ T cells that no other assay can deliver.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAIDS Reviews
Volume21
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)115-125
Number of pages11
ISSN1139-6121
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

PPU

    Research areas

  • Viral inhibitory activity, Viral inhibition assay, Cytotoxic T cells, CD8+T cells, CD8(+) T-CELLS, HUMAN-IMMUNODEFICIENCY-VIRUS, IN-VITRO, EX-VIVO, SUPPRESSIVE CAPACITY, ANTIGEN-SENSITIVITY, ANTIVIRAL ACTIVITY, REPLICATION, LYMPHOCYTES, GAG

ID: 3212181