Journal of virology 2017 02 1491(5) pii 10.1128/JVI.02147-16
Dengue virus (DENV) is responsible for growing numbers of infections worldwide and has proven to be a significant challenge for vaccine development. We previously demonstrated that CD8(+) T cell responses elicited by a dengue live attenuated virus (DLAV) vaccine resemble those observed after natural infection. In this study, we screened peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from donors vaccinated with a tetravalent DLAV vaccine (TV005) with pools of dengue virus-derived predicted major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II binding peptides. The definition of CD4(+) T cell responses after live vaccination is important because CD4(+) T cells are known contributors to host immunity, including cytokine production, help for CD8(+) T and B cells, and direct cytotoxicity against infected cells. While responses to all antigens were observed, DENV-specific CD4(+) T cells were focused predominantly on the capsid and nonstructural NS3 and NS5 antigens. Importantly, CD4(+) T cell responses in vaccinees were similar in magnitude and breadth to those after natural infection, recognized the same antigen hierarchy, and had similar profiles of HLA restriction. We conclude that TV005 vaccination has the capacity to elicit CD4(+) cell responses closely mirroring those observed in a population associated with natural immunity.IMPORTANCE The development of effective vaccination strategies against dengue virus infection is of high global public health interest. Here we study the CD4 T cell responses elicited by a tetravalent live attenuated dengue vaccine and show that they resemble responses seen in humans naturally exposed to dengue virus. This is an important issue, since it is likely that optimal immunity induced by a vaccine requires induction of CD4(+) responses against the same antigens as those recognized as dominant in natural infection. Detailed knowledge of the T cell response may further contribute to the identification of robust correlates of protection against dengue virus.