An interesting phenomenon that has evolved in response to clearing bacterial and viral infections is called immunodominance.
Immunodominance refers to the phenomenon that, despite co-expression of multiple major histocompatibility complex class I alleles by host cells and the potential generation of hundreds of distinct antigenic peptides for recognition following an infection, a large portion of the anti-viral cytotoxic T lymphocyte population targets only some peptide/MHC class I complexes.
Here we review the main factors contributing to immunodominance in relation to influenza A and HIV infection.
Of special interest are the factors contributing to immunodominance in humans and rodents following influenza A infection.
By critically reviewing these findings, we hope to improve understanding of the challenges facing the discovery of new factors enabling better anti-viral vaccine strategies in the future.