JAN 30, 2019 5:22 PM PST

T Cell Stimulation for Zika Vaccine Design

WRITTEN BY: Nicholas Breehl

Immune cells called CD4+ T cells could be important mediators of protection against the Zika virus, according to a study published January 24 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Sujan Shresta of the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, and colleagues. The findings support vaccine strategies that induce a protective CD4+ T cell response to the Zika virus.

Several vaccine candidates are currently under development for Zika virus infection, which causes life-threatening neurologic diseases, including congenital Zika syndrome in neonates and Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults. However, the mechanisms by which the immune system contributes to protection against the Zika virus have not been thoroughly investigated. To address this gap in knowledge, Shresta and colleagues used mouse models of intravenous and sexually transmitted (intravaginal) Zika virus infection to evaluate the role of CD4+ T cells in regulating antiviral responses and in controlling the disease.

The results demonstrated that CD4+ T cells are required for the local control of viral infection in the lower female reproductive tract in mice infected intravaginally. Moreover, memory CD4+ T cells can confer protection against a lethal dose of the Zika virus after intravaginal infection. By contrast, CD4+ T cells are not necessary for the control of Zika virus infection via the intravenous route. According to the authors, future studies should help to identify the precise features of the CD4+ T cell response that can be manipulated to generate Zika virus vaccines that are safe and effective against infection in multiple contexts, including pregnancy and sexual transmission.

Shresta adds, "Depending on the tissue, the CD4 T cell phenotype and mechanism of protection against ZIKV may vary -- this is important, as CD4 T cells are highly heterogeneous/plastic and consist of multiple subtypes, such as Th1, Th2, Tfh, and cytotoxic CD4 T cells."

Sources: Science Daily, PLOS Pathogens, YouTube

About the Author
You May Also Like
MAY 26, 2020
Immunology
The Hunt for Rare Immune Cells, to InfinityFlow and Beyond
MAY 26, 2020
The Hunt for Rare Immune Cells, to InfinityFlow and Beyond
The immune landscape is staggeringly complex, with a myriad of genetically and functionally distinct immune cell subpopu ...
JUL 13, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Russia Completes First Human Trial for COVID-19 Vaccine
JUL 13, 2020
Russia Completes First Human Trial for COVID-19 Vaccine
The Sechenov University Center for Clinical Research in Moscow, Russia, has completed its first round of clinical trials ...
JUL 21, 2020
Immunology
Hormone Therapies Keep Urinary Tract Infections at Bay
JUL 21, 2020
Hormone Therapies Keep Urinary Tract Infections at Bay
More than half of all women will suffer from a urinary tract infection, or UTI, during their lifetimes. Women are consid ...
JUL 27, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
White Blood Cells Are Essential to the Developing Brain
JUL 27, 2020
White Blood Cells Are Essential to the Developing Brain
The brain is protected by a protective shield called the blood-brain barrier, which only allows certain things to pass t ...
JUL 30, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
How Are DNA Testing Companies Helping the Fight Against COVID?
JUL 30, 2020
How Are DNA Testing Companies Helping the Fight Against COVID?
One of the most puzzling characteristics of coronavirus is how some people develop severe symptoms and die from the dise ...
AUG 04, 2020
Microbiology
Why the Brain Parasite You May Carry Isn't a Problem
AUG 04, 2020
Why the Brain Parasite You May Carry Isn't a Problem
Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite transmitted by cats and contaminated meat, and it's thought that over 30 million America ...
Loading Comments...