Vaccine 2016 08 0534(38) 4501-6 doi 10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.08.006
A number of studies have shown that CD8+ T cells mediate protective anti-malaria immunity in a mouse model. However, whether human CD8+ T cells play a role in protection against malaria remains unknown. We recently established human immune system (HIS) mice harboring functional human CD8+ T cells (HIS-CD8 mice) by transduction with HLA-A∗0201 and certain human cytokines using recombinant adeno-associated virus-based gene transfer technologies. These HIS-CD8 mice mount a potent, antigen-specific HLA-A∗0201-restricted human CD8+ T-cell response upon immunization with a recombinant adenovirus expressing a human malaria antigen, the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP), termed AdPfCSP. In the present study, we challenged AdPfCSP-immunized HIS-CD8 mice with transgenic Plasmodium berghei sporozoites expressing full-length PfCSP and found that AdPfCSP-immunized (but not naïve) mice were protected against subsequent malaria challenge. The level of the HLA-A∗0201-restricted, PfCSP-specific human CD8+ T-cell response was closely correlated with the level of malaria protection. Furthermore, depletion of human CD8+ T cells from AdPfCSP-immunized HIS-CD8 mice almost completely abolished the anti-malaria immune response. Taken together, our data show that human CD8+ T cells mediate protective anti-malaria immunity in vivo.