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Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 24;7(1):6313. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-06536-x.

Human Zika infection induces a reduction of IFN-γ producing CD4 T-cells and a parallel expansion of effector Vδ2 T-cells.

Author information

1
Cellular Immunology Laboratory, National Institute for Infectious Diseases "Lazzaro Spallanzani"-IRCCS, Rome, Italy.
2
Virology Laboratory, National Institute for Infectious Diseases "Lazzaro Spallanzani"-IRCCS, Rome, Italy.
3
Clinical Department, National Institute for Infectious Diseases "Lazzaro Spallanzani"-IRCCS, Rome, Italy.
4
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada.
5
Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, and NIHR Biomedical Research centre, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.
6
Scientific Direction, National Institute for Infectious Diseases "Lazzaro Spallanzani"-IRCCS, Rome, Italy.
7
Cellular Immunology Laboratory, National Institute for Infectious Diseases "Lazzaro Spallanzani"-IRCCS, Rome, Italy. chiara.agrati@inmi.it.

Abstract

The definition of the immunological response to Zika (ZIKV) infection in humans represents a key issue to identify protective profile useful for vaccine development and for pathogenesis studies. No data are available on the cellular immune response in the acute phase of human ZIKV infection, and its role in the protection and/or pathogenesis needs to be clarified. We studied and compared the phenotype and functionality of T-cells in patients with acute ZIKV and Dengue viral (DENV) infections. A significant activation of T-cells was observed during both ZIKV and DENV infections. ZIKV infection was characterized by a CD4 T cell differentiation toward effector cells and by a lower frequency of IFN-γ producing CD4 T cells. Moreover, a substantial expansion of CD3+CD4-CD8- T-cell subset expressing Vδ2 TCR was specifically observed in ZIKV patients. Vδ2 T cells presented a terminally differentiated profile, expressed granzyme B and maintained their ability to produce IFN-γ. These findings provide new knowledge on the immune response profile during self-limited infection that may help in vaccine efficacy definition, and in identifying possible immuno-pathogenetic mechanisms of severe infection.

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