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Immune Netw . Influenza Virus-Derived CD8 T Cell Epitopes: Implications for the Development of Universal Influenza Vaccines

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  • Immune Netw . Influenza Virus-Derived CD8 T Cell Epitopes: Implications for the Development of Universal Influenza Vaccines

    Immune Netw


    . 2024 May 7;24(3):e19.
    doi: 10.4110/in.2024.24.e19. eCollection 2024 Jun. Influenza Virus-Derived CD8 T Cell Epitopes: Implications for the Development of Universal Influenza Vaccines

    Sang-Hyun Kim 1 2 , Erica Españo 1 , Bill Thaddeus Padasas 1 , Ju-Ho Son 1 , Jihee Oh 1 , Richard J Webby 3 , Young-Ran Lee 4 , Chan-Su Park 2 , Jeong-Ki Kim 1



    AffiliationsAbstract

    The influenza virus poses a global health burden. Currently, an annual vaccine is used to reduce influenza virus-associated morbidity and mortality. Most influenza vaccines have been developed to elicit neutralizing Abs against influenza virus. These Abs primarily target immunodominant epitopes derived from hemagglutinin (HA) or neuraminidase (NA) of the influenza virus incorporated in vaccines. However, HA and NA are highly variable proteins that are prone to antigenic changes, which can reduce vaccine efficacy. Therefore, it is essential to develop universal vaccines that target immunodominant epitopes derived from conserved regions of the influenza virus, enabling cross-protection among different virus variants. The internal proteins of the influenza virus serve as ideal targets for universal vaccines. These internal proteins are presented by MHC class I molecules on Ag-presenting cells, such as dendritic cells, and recognized by CD8 T cells, which elicit CD8 T cell responses, reducing the likelihood of disease and influenza viral spread by inducing virus-infected cell apoptosis. In this review, we highlight the importance of CD8 T cell-mediated immunity against influenza viruses and that of viral epitopes for developing CD8 T cell-based influenza vaccines.

    Keywords: Cytotoxic T lymphocytes; Influenza A virus; Influenza vaccines; T cell epitopes; T cell-based vaccines.

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