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Articles by Eva G. Rakasz
Total Records ( 3 ) for Eva G. Rakasz
  Laura E. Valentine , Shari M. Piaskowski , Eva G. Rakasz , Nathan L. Henry , Nancy A. Wilson and David I. Watkins
  Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)`s tremendous sequence variability is a major obstacle for the development of cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte-based vaccines, especially since much of this variability is selected for by CD8+ T cells. We investigated to what extent reactivity to escape variant peptides in standard enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assays predicts the recognition of cells infected with corresponding escape variant viruses. Most of the variant peptides tested were recognized in standard ELISPOT and intracellular cytokine stain (ICS) assays. Functional avidity of epitope-specific T cells for some of the variants was, however, markedly reduced. These mutations which reduced avidity also abrogated recognition by epitope-specific CD8+ T cells in a viral suppression assay. Our results indicate that "cross-reactive" CD8+ T-cell responses identified in ELISPOT and ICS assays using a single high concentration of variant peptide often fail to predict the recognition of cells infected with variant viruses.
  John T. Loffredo , Alex T. Bean , Dominic R. Beal , Enrique J. Leon , Gemma E. May , Shari M. Piaskowski , Jessica R. Furlott , Jason Reed , Solomon K. Musani , Eva G. Rakasz , Thomas C. Friedrich , Nancy A. Wilson , David B. Allison and David I. Watkins
  Certain major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I alleles are strongly associated with control of human immunodeficiency virus and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). CD8+ T cells specific for epitopes restricted by these molecules may be particularly effective. Understanding how CD8+ T cells contribute to control of viral replication should yield important insights for vaccine design. We have recently identified an Indian rhesus macaque MHC class I allele, Mamu-B*08, associated with elite control and low plasma viremia after infection with the pathogenic isolate SIVmac239. Here, we infected four Mamu-B*08-positive macaques with SIVmac239 to investigate why some of these macaques control viral replication. Three of the four macaques controlled SIVmac239 replication with plasma virus concentrations below 20,000 viral RNA copies/ml at 20 weeks postinfection; two of four macaques were elite controllers (ECs). Interestingly, two of the four macaques preserved their CD4+ memory T lymphocytes during peak viremia, and all four recovered their CD4+ memory T lymphocytes in the chronic phase of infection. Mamu-B*08-restricted CD8+ T-cell responses dominated the acute phase and accounted for 23.3% to 59.6% of the total SIV-specific immune responses. Additionally, the ECs mounted strong and broad CD8+ T-cell responses against several epitopes in Vif and Nef. Mamu-B*08-specific CD8+ T cells accounted for the majority of mutations in the virus at 18 weeks postinfection. Interestingly, patterns of viral variation in Nef differed between the ECs and the other two macaques. Natural containment of AIDS virus replication in Mamu-B*08-positive macaques may, therefore, be related to a combination of immunodominance and viral escape from CD8+ T-cell responses.
  Andrea M. Weiler , Qingsheng Li , Lijie Duan , Masahiko Kaizu , Kim L. Weisgrau , Thomas C. Friedrich , Matthew R. Reynolds , Ashley T. Haase and Eva G. Rakasz
  Here we report the results of studies in the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-rhesus macaque model of intravaginal transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 in the setting of genital ulcerative diseases. We document preferential association of vRNA with induced ulcers during the first days of infection and show that allogeneic cells of the inoculum traffic from the vaginal lumen to lymphatic tissues. This surprisingly rapid systemic dissemination in this cell-associated SIV challenge model thus reveals the challenges of preventing transmission in the setting of genital ulcerative diseases and illustrates the utility of this animal model in tests of strategies aimed at reducing transmission under these conditions.
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