Identifying conserved DR1501-restricted CD4+ T-cell epitopes in avian H5N1 hemagglutinin proteins

Sheng Fan Wang, Ling Yao, Shih Jen Liu, Pele Chong, Wu Tse Liu, Yi Ming Arthur Chen, Jason C. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 viruses are capable of causing poultry epidemics and human mortality. Vaccines that induce protective neutralizing antibodies can prevent outbreaks and decrease the potential for influenza A pandemics. Identifying unique H5N1 virus-specific HLA class II-restricted epitopes is essential for monitoring cellular strain-specific immunity. Our results indicate that 80% of the 30 study participants who were inoculated with an H5N1 vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies. We used intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) to screen and identify six DR1501-restricted H5N1 virus epitopes: H5HA148-162, H5HA 155-169, H5HA253-267, H5HA260-274, H5HA 267-281 and H5HA309-323. Tetramer staining results confirmed that two immunodominant epitopes were DR1501-restricted: H5HA 155-169 and H5HA267-281. Both are located at the HA surface and are highly conserved in currently circulating H5N1 clades. These results suggest that a combination of ICS and tetramer staining can be used as a T-cell epitope-mapping platform, and the identified epitopes may serve as markers for monitoring vaccine efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-593
Number of pages9
JournalViral Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Virology


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