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An effective vaccine that prevents disease caused by hantaviruses is a global public health priority, but up to now, no vaccine has been approved for worldwide use. Therefore, novel vaccines with high prophylaxis efficacy are urgently needed. Herein, we designed and synthesized Hantaan virus (HTNV) linear multi-epitope peptide consisting of HLA-A*02-restricted HTNV cytotoxic T cell (CTL) epitope and pan HLA-DR-binding epitope (PADRE), and evaluated the immunogenicity, as well as effectiveness, of multi-epitope peptides in HLA-A2.1/Kb transgenic mice with interferon (IFN)-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay, cytotoxic mediator detection, proliferation assay and HTNV-challenge test. The results showed that a much higher frequency of specific IFN-γ-secreting CTLs, high levels of granzyme B production, and a strong proliferation capacity of specific CTLs were observed in splenocytes of mice immunized with multi-epitope peptide than in those of a single CTL epitope. Moreover, pre-immunization of multi-epitope peptide could reduce the levels of HTNV RNA loads in the liver, spleen and kidneys of mice, indicating that specific CTL responses induced by multi-epitope peptide could reduce HTNV RNA loads in vivo. This study may provide an important foundation for the development of novel peptide vaccines for HTNV prophylaxis.


Ying Ma, Kang Tang, Yusi Zhang, Chunmei Zhang, Linfeng Cheng, Fanglin Zhang, Ran Zhuang, Boquan Jin, Yun Zhang. Protective CD8+ T-cell response against Hantaan virus infection induced by immunization with designed linear multi-epitope peptides in HLA-A2.1/Kb transgenic mice. Virology journal. 2020 Oct 07;17(1):146

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PMID: 33028368

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