CD8+ T-cell Responses in Flavivirus-Naive Individuals Following Immunization with a Live-Attenuated Tetravalent Dengue Vaccine Candidate

Haiyan Chu, Sarah L George, Dan T Stinchcomb, Jorge E Osorio, Charalambos D Partidos
Journal of Infectious Diseases 2015 November 15, 212 (10): 1618-28
We are developing a live-attenuated tetravalent dengue vaccine (TDV) candidate based on an attenuated dengue 2 virus (TDV-2) and 3 chimeric viruses containing the premembrane and envelope genes of dengue viruses (DENVs) -1, -3, and -4 expressed in the context of the attenuated TDV-2 genome (TDV-1, TDV-3, and TDV-4, respectively). In this study, we analyzed and characterized the CD8(+) T-cell response in flavivirus-naive human volunteers vaccinated with 2 doses of TDV 90 days apart via the subcutaneous or intradermal routes. Using peptide arrays and intracellular cytokine staining, we demonstrated that TDV elicits CD8(+) T cells targeting the nonstructural NS1, NS3, and NS5 proteins of TDV-2. The cells were characterized by the production of interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, and to a lesser extent interleukin-2. Responses were highest on day 90 after the first dose and were still detectable on 180 days after the second dose. In addition, CD8(+) T cells were multifunctional, producing ≥2 cytokines simultaneously, and cross-reactive to NS proteins of the other 3 DENV serotypes. Overall, these findings describe the capacity of our candidate dengue vaccine to elicit cellular immune responses and support the further evaluation of T-cell responses in samples from future TDV clinical trials.

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