Liu Y, McNevin J, Rolland M, Zhao H, Deng W, Maenza J, Stevens CE, Collier AC, McElrath MJ, Mullins JI (2009). Conserved HIV-1 epitopes continuously elicit subdominant cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses. The Journal of infectious diseases, 200(12), 1825-33. (pubmed) (doi)
The epitope specificities and antiviral activities of class I HLA-restricted CD8(+) T cells, especially those induced during human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) primary infection, are important considerations in designing HIV-1 vaccines. Conserved epitopes may be more commonly and persistently recognized than variable epitopes, as they may be more likely to be present in infecting viruses. However, some studies have shown preferential or similar targeting of variable versus conserved epitopes during primary infection.