Research ArticleIMMUNOLOGY

Flavivirus serocomplex cross-reactive immunity is protective by activating heterologous memory CD4 T cells

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Science Advances  04 Jul 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 7, eaar4297
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar4297

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How previous immunity influences immune memory recall and protection against related flaviviruses is largely unknown, yet encounter with multiple flaviviruses in a lifetime is increasingly likely. Using sequential challenges with dengue virus (DENV), yellow fever virus (YFV), and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), we induced cross-reactive cellular and humoral immunity among flaviviruses from differing serocomplexes. Antibodies against JEV enhanced DENV replication; however, JEV immunity was protective in vivo during secondary DENV1 infection, promoting rapid gains in antibody avidity. Mechanistically, JEV immunity activated dendritic cells and effector memory T cells, which developed a T follicular helper cell phenotype in draining lymph nodes upon secondary DENV1 infection. We identified cross-reactive epitopes that promote recall from a pool of flavivirus serocomplex cross-reactive memory CD4 T cells and confirmed that a similar serocomplex cross-reactive immunity occurs in humans. These results show that sequential immunizations for flaviviruses sharing CD4 epitopes should promote protection during a subsequent heterologous infection.

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