Cell-mediated immunity generated in response to a purified inactivated vaccine for dengue virus type 1

Heather Friberg, Luis J. Martinez, Leyi Lin*, Jason M. Blaylock, A. De La Barrera Rafael, Alan L. Rothman, J. Robert Putnak, Kenneth H. Eckels, Stephen J. Thomas, Richard G. Jarman, Jeffrey R. Currier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Dengue is the most prevalent arboviral disease afflicting humans, and a vaccine appears to be the most rational means of control. Dengue vaccine development is in a critical phase, with the first vaccine licensed in some countries where dengue is endemic but demonstrating insufficient efficacy in immunologically naive populations. Since virus-neutralizing antibodies do not invariably correlate with vaccine efficacy, other markers that may predict protection, including cell-mediated immunity, are urgently needed. Previously, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research developed a monovalent purified inactivated virus (PIV) vaccine candidate against dengue virus serotype 1 (DENV-1) adjuvanted with alum. The PIV vaccine was safe and immunogenic in a phase I dose escalation trial in healthy, flavivirus-naive adults in the United States. From that trial, peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained at various time points pre-and postvaccination were used to measure DENV-1-specific T cell responses. After vaccination, a predominant CD4+ T cell-mediated response to peptide pools covering the DENV-1 structural proteins was observed. Over half (13/ 20) of the subjects produced interleukin-2 (IL-2) in response to DENV peptides, and the majority (17/20) demonstrated peptide-specific CD4+ T cell proliferation. In addition, analysis of postvaccination cell culture supernatants demonstrated an increased rate of production of cytokines, including gamma interferon (IFN-γ), IL-5, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). Overall, the vaccine was found to have elicited DENV-specific CD4+ T cell responses as measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISpot), intracellular cytokine staining (ICS), lymphocyte proliferation, and cytokine production assays. Thus, together with antibody readouts, the use of a multifaceted measurement of cell-mediated immune responses after vaccination is a useful strategy for more comprehensively characterizing immunity generated by dengue vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00671
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • CMI
  • Dengue
  • PIV
  • T cells
  • Vaccine


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