Title

Immunization With a Single Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I- Restricted Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Recognition Epitope of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Confers Protective Immunity

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1998

Abstract

We have evaluated the potential of conferring protective immunity to herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) by selectively inducing an HSV-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) response directed against a single major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted CTL recognition epitope. We generated a recombinant vaccinia virus (rVV-ES-gB498-505) which expresses the H-2Kb-restricted, HSV-1/2-cross-reactive CTL recognition epitope, HSV glycoprotein B residues 498 to 505 (SSIEFARL) (gB498-505), fused to the adenovirus type 5 E3/19K endoplasmic reticulum insertion sequence (ES). Mucosal immunization of C57BL/6 mice with this recombinant vaccinia virus induced both a primary CTL response in the draining lymph nodes and a splenic memory CTL response directed against HSV gB498-505. To determine the ability of the gB498-505-specific memory CTL response to provide protection from HSV infection, immunized mice were challenged with a lethal dose of HSV-2 strain 186 by the intranasal (i.n.) route. Development of the gB498-505-specific CTL response conferred resistance in 60 to 75% of mice challenged with a lethal dose of HSV-2 and significantly reduced the levels of infectious virus in the brains and trigeminal ganglia of challenged mice. Finally, i.n. immunization of C57BL/6 mice with either a recombinant influenza virus or a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing HSV gB498-505 without the ES was also demonstrated to induce an HSV-specific CTL response and provide protection from HSV infection. This finding confirms that the induction of an HSV-specific CTL response directed against a single epitope is sufficient for conferring protective immunity to HSV. Our findings support the role of CD8+ T cells in the control of HSV infection of the central nervous system and suggest the potential importance of eliciting HSV-specific mucosal CD8+ CTL in HSV vaccine design.

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