Zaireebolavirus (EBOV) is a highly pathogenic filovirus which can result in Ebola virus disease (EVD); a serious medical condition that presents as flu like symptoms but then often leads to more serious or fatal outcomes. The 2013-16 West Africa epidemic saw an unparalleled number of cases. Here we show characterisation and identification of T cell epitopes in surviving patients from Guinea to the EBOV glycoprotein. We perform interferon gamma (IFN gamma) ELISpot using a glycoprotein peptide library to identify T cell epitopes and determine the CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cell component response. Additionally, we generate data on the T cell phenotype and measure polyfunctional cytokine secretion by these antigen specific cells. We show candidate peptides able to elicit a T cell response in EBOV survivors and provide inferred human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allele restriction. This data informs on the long-term T cell response to Ebola virus disease and highlights potentially important immunodominant peptides. T cell responses are known to be essential in the immune response to Ebola virus infection, and the viral glycoprotein is a major antigenic target. Here the authors provide fine detail mapping of T cell antigens and their characterisation in Ebola virus survivor patients.
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The authors would like to acknowledge the support and commitment of Coyah and Guéckédou Ebola virus disease survivor’s associations and all the participants in this study. We are also extremely grateful to the Guinean authorities and members of Centre for Training and Research on Priority Diseases including Malaria in Guinea for their support of this study. This work was funded by Food & Drug Administration, USA (Contract; HHSF223201510104C), Horizon 2020 EU, project EVIDENT (Grant Agreement No. 666100) and Wellcome-DFID grant reference 214626/Z/18/Z. This project has been funded in part with federal funds from the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, under Contract No. HHSN261200800001E. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organisations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. This research was supported in part by the Intramural Research Programme of the NIH, Frederick National Lab, Center for Cancer Research.
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