Identification of CD8+ T cell epitopes in the immediate early 62 protein (IE62) of Varicella-Zoster virus, and evaluation of frequency of CD8+ T cell response to IE62, by use of IE62 peptides after varicella vaccination JOURNAL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES Frey, C. R., Sharp, M. A., Min, A. S., Schmid, D. S., Loparev, V., Arvin, A. M. 2003; 188 (1): 40-52


Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes varicella, establishes neuronal latency, and can reactivate, resulting in herpes zoster. VZV-specific T cells are important for controlling infection. VZV immediate early protein 62 (IE62) is recognized by cytotoxic T cells from immune individuals, but no CD8(+) T cell epitopes have been defined for any VZV protein. CD8(+) T cell frequencies were assessed by cytokine flow cytometry (CFC), by use of synthetic-peptide pools corresponding to the IE62 sequence. IE62 peptide-specific CD8(+) T cells were below the threshold of detection, by direct CFC of either whole blood or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Activated CD8(+)CD69(+) T cells that produced interferon-gamma were detectable after in vitro restimulation of PBMCs, and restricted epitopes were identified for HLA-A*0201-positive subjects. Varicella vaccination of 3 VZV-immune subjects was associated with increases in IE62 peptide-specific CD8(+) T cells, a finding indicating that in vivo re-exposure boosts memory immunity to this important viral protein.

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View details for PubMedID 12825169