Heteroclitic Stimulation and CD5 Modulation as Strategies to Expand Human Immunodeficiency Virus-specific CD8+ T Cell Recognition Breadth Period
One of the biggest obstacles to developing an effective vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the tremendous diversity of the virus. This allows the virus to evade both antibody and T cell-mediated immune responses. The most common approach to addressing viral variability in vaccine development has been to focus on identifying conserved sequences or structures within virus variants. There may also be ways to alter the nature of the immune response so that more viral variants are recognized.
This research project involves two methods of expanding the capacity of the immune response to recognize variants of HIV. One method focuses on using specialized antigens to recruit a greater variety of immune cells to fight the virus. The other method focuses on using a greater variety of antigens so that those cells that are recruited recognize more variants of HIV. Together, these two approaches have the potential to expand the breadth of immunity to cover more variants of HIV and thus increase the effectiveness of HIV vaccines.