Antigen-specific T cell responses induced by Towne cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine in CMV-seronegative vaccine recipients

J Clin Virol. 2006 Mar;35(3):332-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2005.09.019. Epub 2006 Jan 18.


Background: Towne cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine is safe and immunogenic, though its protective efficacy has yet to be optimized.

Objective: Describe antigen-specific T cell responses to Towne vaccination.

Study design: 3000 pfu Towne CMV vaccine were given to 12 CMV-seronegative volunteers. CMV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation and IFNgamma expression were measured by flow cytometry after stimulation with CMV lysate or peptides.

Results: All vaccinees developed CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation and CD4+ T cell IFNgamma responses to multiple CMV antigens, but their CD8+ T cells had low or undetectable IFNgamma responses to pp65 peptide pool. The seven HLA-A2+ subjects had higher CD8+ T cell proliferation and IFNgamma responses to IE than pp65, and two never developed CD8+ T cell IFNgamma responses to pp65. Peak CD4+ T cell IFNgamma responses to CMV lysate were lower than values observed in natural CMV seropositives. Initial CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses to lysate and pp65 waned after 12 months to levels that were lower than those in healthy CMV seropositives, while vaccinees' CD8+ T cell responses to IE were robust and prolonged.

Conclusion: Correlating CMV antigen-specific T cell responses with clinical protective efficacy may facilitate future CMV vaccine development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Cytomegalovirus Vaccines / immunology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphoproteins / immunology
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / immunology


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Cytomegalovirus Vaccines
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • cytomegalovirus matrix protein 65kDa
  • Interferon-gamma