HIV-specific T-helper activity in seronegative health care workers exposed to contaminated blood

Mario Clerici, James M. Levin, Harold A. Kessler, Alan Harris, Jay A. Berzofsky, Alan L. Landay, Gene M. Shearer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. - To evaluate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1- specific cellular immune responses in HIV-seronegative health care workers with occupational high-risk exposures to HIV-infected (HIV-positive) patients. Design. - Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were obtained after occupational exposures to HIV, and PBMCs from health care workers exposed to HIV-negative patients served as controls. The PBMCs were stimulated in vitro with HIV envelope synthetic peptides. Interleukin 2 (IL- 2) production was measured in a bioassay. The HIV antibody status was determined by standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Exposed individuals were also evaluated for HIV proviral DNA by polymerase chain reaction techniques. Participants. - The PBMCs from eight health care workers with high-risk exposures and nine control health care workers were studied. Results. - The PBMCs from all individuals showed strong IL-2 production to control antigens, indicating intact T-helper function. Interleukin 2 production to HIV peptides was detected in PBMCs from six of eight HIV- exposed individuals, but in only one of the nine health care workers exposed to HIV-negative body fluids (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-46
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Medical Association
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 5 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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