Mapping and Role of the CD8 + T Cell Response During Primary Zika Virus Infection in Mice

Cell Host Microbe. 2017 Jan 11;21(1):35-46. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2016.12.010.


CD8+ T cells may play a dual role in protection against and pathogenesis of flaviviruses, including Zika virus (ZIKV). We evaluated the CD8+ T cell response in ZIKV-infected LysMCre+IFNARfl/fl C57BL/6 (H-2b) mice lacking the type I interferon receptor in a subset of myeloid cells. In total, 26 and 15 CD8+ T cell-reactive peptides for ZIKV African (MR766) and Asian (FSS13025) lineage strains, respectively, were identified and validated. CD8+ T cells from infected mice were polyfunctional and mediated cytotoxicity. Adoptive transfer of ZIKV-immune CD8+ T cells reduced viral burdens, whereas their depletion led to higher tissue burdens, and CD8-/- mice displayed higher mortality with ZIKV infection. Collectively, these results demonstrate that CD8+ T cells protect against ZIKV infection. Further, this study provides a T cell competent mouse model for investigating ZIKV-specific T cell responses.

Keywords: CD8(+) T cell; LysMCre(+)IFNAR(fl/fl); Zika virus; epitope; mouse model; peptide.

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Blocking / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / transplantation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta / genetics
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta / immunology*
  • Zika Virus / immunology*
  • Zika Virus Infection / immunology*
  • Zika Virus Infection / virology


  • Antibodies, Blocking
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta