Human Paramyxovirus Infections Induce T Cells That Cross-React with Zoonotic Henipaviruses

Rory de Vries, A de Jong, Joyce Verburgh, L Sauerhering, Gijs van Nierop, RS van Binnendijk, Ab Osterhaus, A Maisner, Marion Koopmans, Rik de Swart

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Abstract

Humans are infected with paramyxoviruses of different genera early in life, which induce cytotoxic T cells that may recognize conserved epitopes. This raises the question of whether cross-reactive T cells induced by antecedent paramyxovirus infections provide partial protection against highly lethal zoonotic Nipah virus infections. By characterizing a measles virus-specific but paramyxovirus cross-reactive human T cell clone, we discovered a highly conserved HLA-B*1501- restricted T cell epitope in the fusion protein. Using peptides, tetramers, and single cell sorting, we isolated a parainfluenza virus-specific T cell clone from a healthy adult and showed that both clones cleared Nipah virus-infected cells. We identified multiple conserved hot spots in paramyxovirus proteomes that contain other potentially cross-reactive epitopes. Our data suggest that, depending on HLA haplotype and history of paramyxovirus exposures, humans may have cross-reactive T cells that provide protection against Nipah virus. The effect of preferential boosting of these cross-reactive epitopes needs to be further studied in light of paramyxovirus vaccination studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00972-20
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalmBio
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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