Induction of Antigen-Specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes in Humans by a Malaria DNA Vaccine

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CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are critical for protection against intracellular pathogens but often have been difficult to induce by subunit vaccines in animals.DNA vaccines elicit protective CD8+ T cell responses. Malaria-naive volunteers who were vaccinated with plasmid DNA encoding a malaria protein developed antigen-specific, genetically restricted, CD8+ T cell-dependent CTLs. Responses were directed against all 10 peptides tested and were restricted by six human lymphocyte antigen (HLA) class I alleles. This first demonstration in healthy naive humans of the induction of CD8+ CTLs by DNA vaccines, including CTLs that were restricted by multiple HLA alleles in the same individual, provides a foundation for further human testing of this potentially revolutionary vaccine technology.

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