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An Effective CTL Peptide Vaccine for Ebola Zaire Based on Survivors’ CD8+ Targeting of a Particular Nucleocapsid Protein Epitope with Potential Implications for COVID-19 Vaccine Design

Herst, C. V.; Burkholz, S.; Sidney, J.; Sette, A.; Harris, Paul Emerson; Massey, S.; Brasel, T.; Cunha-Neto, E.; Rosa, D. S.; Chao, W. C. H.; Carback, R.; Hodge, T.; Wang, L.; Ciotlos, S.; Lloyd, P.; Rubsamen, R.

The 2013-2016 West Africa EBOV epidemic was the biggest EBOV outbreak to date. An analysis of virus-specific CD8+ T-cell immunity in 30 survivors showed that 26 of those individuals had a CD8+ response to at least one EBOV protein. The dominant response (25/26 subjects) was specific to the EBOV nucleocapsid protein (NP). It has been suggested that epitopes on the EBOV NP could form an important part of an effective T-cell vaccine for Ebola Zaire. We show that a 9-amino-acid peptide NP44-52 (YQVNNLEEI) located in a conserved region of EBOV NP provides protection against morbidity and mortality after mouse adapted EBOV challenge. A single vaccination in a C57BL/6 mouse using an adjuvanted microsphere peptide vaccine formulation containing NP44-52 is enough to confer immunity in mice. Our work suggests that a peptide vaccine based on CD8+ T-cell immunity in EBOV survivors is conceptually sound and feasible. Nucleocapsid proteins within SARS-CoV-2 contain multiple class I epitopes with predicted HLA restrictions consistent with broad population

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Medicine
Published Here
April 13, 2020

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