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J Immunol. 1999 Mar 1;162(5):3063-9.

EBV structural antigens, gp350 and gp85, as targets for ex vivo virus-specific CTL during acute infectious mononucleosis: potential use of gp350/gp85 CTL epitopes for vaccine design.

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1
Tumour Immunology Laboratory, Epstein-Barr Virus Unit, Bancroft Centre, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, University of Queensland, Joint Oncology Program, Herston, Australia. rajivK@qimr.edu.au

Abstract

For many years, EBV vaccine development efforts have concentrated on the use of structural Ag, gp350, and have been directed toward Ab-mediated blocking virus attachment to the target cell. There is increasing evidence to suggest that the development of neutralizing Abs in vaccinated animals does not always correlate with protection; nevertheless, it has been postulated that gp350-specific T cell-mediated immune responses may have an effector role in protection. This hypothesis has largely remained untested. In the present study, we demonstrate that CTL from acute infectious mononucleosis patients display strong ex vivo reactivity against the EBV structural Ags, gp85 and gp350. Moreover, long-term follow up studies on infectious mononucleosis-recovered individuals showed that these individuals maintain gp350- and gp85-specific memory CTL, albeit at low levels, in the peripheral blood. These results strongly suggest that CTL specific for EBV structural proteins may play an important role in the control of EBV infection during acute infection. More importantly, we also show that prior immunization of HLA A2/Kb transgenic mice with gp350 and gp85 CTL epitopes induced a strong epitope-specific CTL response and afforded protection against gp85- or gp350-expressing vaccinia virus challenge. These results have important implications for future EBV vaccine design and provides evidence, for the first time, that CTL epitopes from EBV structural proteins may be used for establishing strong antiviral immunity against EBV infection.

PMID:
10072559
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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