CERI, CEFX, and CPI: Largely Improved Positive Controls for Testing Antigen-Specific T Cell Function in PBMC Compared to CEF

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Monitoring antigen-specific T cell immunity relies on functional tests that require T cells and antigen presenting cells to be uncompromised. Drawing of blood, its storage and shipment from the clinical site to the test laboratory, and the subsequent isolation, cryopreservation and thawing of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) before the actual test is performed can introduce numerous variables that may jeopardize the results. Therefore, no T cell test is valid without assessing the functional fitness of the PBMC being utilized. This can only be accomplished through the inclusion of positive controls that actually evaluate the performance of the antigen-specific T cell and antigen presenting cell (APC) compartments. For Caucasians, CEF peptides have been commonly used to this extent. Moreover, CEF peptides only measure CD8 cell functionality. We introduce here universal CD8+ T cell positive controls without any racial bias, as well as positive controls for the CD4+ T cell and APC compartments. In summary, we offer new tools and strategies for the assessment of PBMC functional fitness required for reliable T cell immune monitoring.
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