A multivalent and cross-protective vaccine strategy against arenaviruses associated with human disease

Maya F. Kotturi, Jason Botten, John Sidney, Huynh Hoa Bui, Lori Giancola, Matt Maybeno, Josie Babin, Carla Oseroff, Valerie Pasquetto, Jason A. Greenbaum, Bjoern Peters, Joey Ting, Danh Do, Lo Vang, Jeff Alexander, Howard Grey, Michael J. Buchmeier, Alessandro Sette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Arenaviruses are the causative pathogens of severe hemorrhagic fever and aseptic meningitis in humans, for which no licensed vaccines are currently available. Pathogen heterogeneity within the Arenaviridae family poses a significant challenge for vaccine development. The main hypothesis we tested in the present study was whether it is possible to design a universal vaccine strategy capable of inducing simultaneous HLA-restricted CD8+ T cell responses against 7 pathogenic arenaviruses (including the lymphocytic choriomeningitis, Lassa, Guanarito, Junin, Machupo, Sabia, and Whitewater Arroyo viruses), either through the identification of widely conserved epitopes, or by the identification of a collection of epitopes derived from multiple arenavirus species. By inoculating HLA transgenic mice with a panel of recombinant vaccinia viruses (rVACVs) expressing the different arenavirus proteins, we identified 10 HLA-A02 and 10 HLA-A03-restricted epitopes that are naturally processed in human antigen-presenting cells. For some of these epitopes we were able to demonstrate crossreactive CD8+ T cell responses, further increasing the coverage afforded by the epitope set against each different arenavirus species. Importantly, we showed that immunization of HLA transgenic mice with an epitope cocktail generated simultaneous CD8+ T cell responses against all 7 arenaviruses, and protected mice against challenge with rVACVs expressing either Old or New World arenavirus glycoproteins. In conclusion, the set of identified epitopes allows broad, non-ethnically biased coverage of all 7 viral species targeted by our studies. Copyright:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1000695
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology


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