Monitoring alloimmune response in kidney transplantation.
Characterization of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I restricted epitopes derived from viral pathogens is imperative for formulating therapeutic interventions, as well as for vaccine design and monitoring. Sensitive, easy and cost-effective assays that measure the frequency of antigen-specific T lymphocytes are crucial for evaluating and improving vaccines and therapies. This paper reviews the ELISPOT technique that allows for quantifying HIV-specific T lymphocytes at the single cell level from peripheral blood by detection of antigen-induced cytokine secretion. The assay can be used successfully to quantify T cell immune responses in humans infected with different pathogens and to assess T cell immunogenicity of vaccines in phase I/II and III clinical trials. This review focuses on the ELISPOT methodology and discusses how it can be standardized and potentially used by multiple international laboratories attached to clinical trial sites.