CTL epitopes for influenza A including the H5N1 bird flu; genome-, pathogen-, and HLA-wide screening

M.J. Wang, K. Lamberth, M. Harndahl, G. Roder, A. Stryhn, Mette Voldby Larsen, Morten Nielsen, Claus Lundegaard, Sheila Tuyet Tang, M.H. Dziegiel, J. Rosenkvist, A.E. Pedersen, Søren Buus, M.H. Claesson, Ole Lund

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The purpose of the present study is to perform a global screening for new immunogenic HLA class I (HLA-I) restricted cytotoxic T cell (CTL) epitopes of potential utility as candidates of influenza A-virus diagnostics and vaccines. We used predictions of antigen processing and presentation, the latter encompassing 12 different HLA class I supertypes with > 99% population coverage, and searched for conserved epitopes from available influenza A viral protein sequences. Peptides corresponding to 167 predicted peptide-HLA-1 interactions were synthesized, tested for peptide-HLA-1 interactions in a biochemical assay and for influenza-specific, HLA-1-restricted CTL responses in an IFN-gamma ELISPOT assay. Eighty-nine peptides could be confirmed as HLA-1 binders, and 13 could be confirmed as CTL targets. The 13 epitopes, are highly conserved among human influenza A pathogens, and all of these epitopes are present in the emerging bird flu isolates. Our study demonstrates that present technology enables a fast global screening for T cell immune epitopes of potential diagnostics and vaccine interest. This technology includes immuno-bioinformatics predictors with the capacity to perform fast genome-, pathogen-, and HLA-wide searches for immune targets. To exploit this new potential, a coordinated international effort to analyze the precious source of information represented by rare patients, such as the current victims of bird flu, would be essential.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number15
    Pages (from-to)2823-2831
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • CTL epitope
    • peptide
    • influenza A virus
    • diagnostics
    • vaccine


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