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Identification of novel yellow fever Class II epitopes in YF-17D vaccinees

Mateus, J., Grifoni, A., Voic, H., Angelo, M.A., Phillips, E., Mallal, S., Sidney, J., Sette, A. and Weiskopf, D. (2020) Identification of novel yellow fever Class II epitopes in YF-17D vaccinees. Viruses, 12 (11). Article 1300.

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Yellow fever virus (YFV) is a mosquito-borne member of the genus flavivirus, including other important human-pathogenic viruses, such as dengue, Japanese encephalitis, and Zika. Herein, we report identifying 129 YFV Class II epitopes in donors vaccinated with the live attenuated YFV vaccine (YFV-17D). A total of 1156 peptides predicted to bind 17 different common HLA-DRB1 allelic variants were tested using IFNγ ELISPOT assays in vitro re-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from twenty-six vaccinees. Overall, we detected responses against 215 YFV epitopes. We found that the capsid and envelope proteins, as well as the non-structural (NS) proteins NS3 and NS5, were the most targeted proteins by CD4+ T cells from YF-VAX vaccinated donors. In addition, we designed and validated by flow cytometry a CD4+ mega pool (MP) composed of structural and non-structural epitopes in an independent cohort of vaccinated donors. Overall, this study provides a comprehensive prediction and validation of YFV epitopes in a cohort of YF-17D vaccinated individuals. With the design of a CD4 epitope MP, we further provide a useful tool to detect ex vivo responses of YFV-specific CD4 T cells in small sample volumes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Institute for Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2020 by the authors
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
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