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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01678

Identification of protective CD8 T cell epitopes in a mouse model of Zika virus infection

  • 1School of Medicine, Saint Louis University, United States

Many flaviviruses including dengue (DENV), and Zika (ZIKV) have attracted significant attention in the past few years. As many flaviviruses are spread by arthropods, most of the world’s population is at risk of encountering a flavivirus, and infection with these viruses has created a significant disease burden worldwide. Vaccination against flaviviruses is thought to be one of the most promising avenues for reducing the disease burden associated with these viruses. The optimism surrounding a vaccine approach is supported by the highly successful vaccines for yellow fever and Japanese Encephalitis. Central to the development of new successful vaccines is the understanding of the correlates of protection that will be necessary to engineer into new vaccines. To aid in this endeavor we have directed our efforts to identify correlates of protection that will reduce the disease burden associated with ZIKV and DENV. Within this study we have identified a novel murine ZIKV specific CD8+ T cell epitope, and shown that the ZIKV epitope specific CD8+ T cell response has a distinct immunodominance hierarchy present during acute infection and is detectible as part of the memory T cell responses. Our studies confirm that ZIKV-specific CD8+ T cells are an important correlate of protect for ZIKV and demonstrate that both naïve and ZIKV immune CD8+ T cells are sufficient for protection against a lethal ZIKV infection. Overall this study adds to the body of literature demonstrating a role for CD8+ T cells in controlling flavivirus infection.

Keywords: Zika, Dengue, CD8 T cells +, epitope, correlates of protection, Immunology & Infectious Diseases, immunodominance

Received: 06 Mar 2019; Accepted: 04 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Daniela Weiskopf, La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), United States

Reviewed by:

Ilhem Messaoudi, University of California, Irvine, United States
Eng Eong Ooi, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore  

Copyright: © 2019 Hassert, Brien and Pinto. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Amelia K. Pinto, School of Medicine, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, 63104, Missouri, United States, amelia.pinto@health.slu.edu