Immunogenicity of a contiguous T-B synthetic epitope of the A/PR/8/34 influenza virus

Teodor D. Brumeanu, Sofia Casares, Adrian Bot, Simona Bot, Constantin A. Bona*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A contiguously linked T-B synthetic viral epitope (110HA120- 159,T-B) was investigated for its potency in inducing humoral and cellular immune responses in vivo. The T-cell epitope 110HA120 corresponds to the site 1 hemagglutinin (HA) of the A/PR/8/34 (PR8) influenza virus and is recognized by CD4 T cells in association with-I-E(d)6 class II major histocompatibility complex molecules. The 150HA159 represents a major B-cell epitope of the HA protein. T-B dipeptide emulsified in Freund's complete adjuvant was able to induce strong antiviral antibody titers and a high frequency of specific T-cell precursors after a single inoculation in BALB/c mice. In contrast, immunization under identical conditions with equimolar mixtures of T and B peptides did not elicit antibody titers or a cellular immune response. As indicated by the isotypes of antiviral antibodies, the T-B dipeptide preferentially induced a Th1-like immune response. Challenge with T-B dipeptide, but not with T or B peptide alone, stimulated peptide-specific T memory cells in mice previously primed with PR8 virus or with T-B dipeptide. As a consequence, 71 and 57% of these mice, respectively, survived infection with two 100% lethal doses of PR8 virus. Our results suggest that, inasmuch as contiguity between T- and B-cell epitopes provides enough signaling capacity to trigger the mechanisms of T-B-cell cooperation in vivo, a T-B contiguous epitope may well represent a minimal built-in subunit vaccine. Aside from their potential bioavailability, the T- B contiguous epitopes may also represent attractive tools for investigating the molecular mechanisms of T-B-cell cooperation responsible for antiviral protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5473-5480
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1997
Externally publishedYes


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