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The role of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) escape in rapidly progressive infant human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is undefined. The data presented here demonstrate that infant HIV-1-specific CTL can select for viral escape variants very early in life. These variants, furthermore, may be selected specifically in the infant, despite the same CTL specificity being present in the mother. Additionally, pediatric CTL activity may be compromised both by the transmission of maternal escape variants and by mother-to-child transmission of escape variants that originally arose in the father. The unique acquisition of these CTL escape forms may help to explain the severe nature of some pediatric HIV infections.

Original publication




Journal article


J Virol

Publication Date





12100 - 12105


Amino Acid Sequence, Epitopes, Female, Genetic Variation, HIV Antigens, HIV Infections, HIV-1, HLA-B Antigens, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical, Male, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutation, Pregnancy, Selection, Genetic, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic