Clinical Research

Tools that assist your research on infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and vaccine development including our patented antigen-specific T-cell response assays.

Today BD Biosciences reagents and flow cytometry systems are helping scientists understand the intricacies of human immune function. The human immune system’s response to infectious agents is key to understanding the mechanisms of infection and host response variability and of intense interest to clinical researchers who hope to use this information to inform better treatment and vaccine strategies. BD Biosciences supports a wide range of efforts to understand infectious disease including the devastating diseases caused by HIV infection.

Products for HIV/AIDS Research

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition in humans in which the immune system begins to fail, leading to opportunistic infections. HIV primarily infects helper T cells (specifically CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells), macrophages, and dendritic cells. HIV infection leads to low levels of CD4+ T cells and an inversion of the CD4/CD8 ratio, through three main mechanisms: direct viral killing of infected cells, increased rates of apoptosis in infected cells, and killing of infected CD4+ T cells by CD8 cytotoxic lymphocytes that recognize infected cells. When CD4+ T cell numbers decline below a critical level, cell-mediated immunity is lost, and the body becomes progressively more susceptible to opportunistic infections.


Trautmann L, Janbazaian L, Chomont N, et al. Upregulation of PD-1 expression on HIV-specific CD8+ T cells leads to reversible immune dysfunction. Nature Med. 2006;12:1198-1202.

Riou C, Yassine-Diab B, Van grevenynghe J, et al. Convergence of TCR and cytokine signaling leads to FOXO3a phosphorylation and drives the survival of CD4+ central memory T cells. J Exp Med. 2007;204:79-91.

Vaccine Research

The goal of vaccination is to prime the immune system against a specific target so that a pool of antibody and memory cells can rapidly expand upon renewed contact with the antigen. This ‘primed’ state thus protects the host against infection. BD Biosciences tools that can assist in vaccine research and clinical trials include our patented assays for antigen-specific T-cell responses via multicolor flow cytometry or traditional ELISPOT. In addition, a variety of BD reagents and intracellular cytokine staining protocols are available to characterize the quality of immune response. BD Lyoplate™ and standardization program services available via the BD Custom Technologies Team offer clinical researchers powerful ways to reduce data variability in their flow cytometry experiments, boosting data quality and consistency in longitudinal and multi-site clinical trials.


Stoitzner P, Green LK, Jung JY, et al. Tumor immunotherapy by epicutaneous immunization requires langerhans cells. J Immunol. 2008;180:1991-1998.

Sun Y, Santra S, Schmitz JE, Roederer M, Letvin NL. Magnitude and quality of vaccine-elicited T-cell responses in the control of immunodeficiency virus replication in rhesus monkeys. J Virol. 2008;82:8812-8819.