Identification of novel HLA-A11-restricted T-cell epitopes in the Ebola virus nucleoprotein

Microbes Infect. Jan-Feb 2019;21(1):56-62. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2018.04.005. Epub 2018 Oct 10.


The Ebola virus (EBOV) is a very contagious virus that is highly fatal in humans and animals. The largest epidemic was in West Africa in 2014, in which over 11,000 people died. However, to date, there are no licensed vaccines against it. Studies show that CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses, especially cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses, play key roles in protecting individuals from EBOV infection. Since HLA-restricted epitope vaccines are likely to be effective and safe immunization strategies for infectious diseases, the present study screened for CTL epitopes in the EBOV-nucleoprotein that are restricted by HLA-A11 (a common allele in Chinese people). Predictive computer analysis of the amino-acid sequence of EBOV-nucleoprotein identified ten putative HLA-A11-restricted epitopes. ELISPOT assay of immunized HLA-A11/DR1 transgenic mice showed that five (GR-9, VR-9, EK-9, PK-9, and RK-9) induced effective CTL responses. Additional epitope analyses will aid the design of epitope vaccines against EBOV.

Keywords: Ebola virus; HLA-A11-restricted epitope; Vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Ebolavirus / immunology*
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Female
  • HLA-A11 Antigen / genetics
  • HLA-A11 Antigen / immunology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / immunology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nucleocapsid Proteins / chemistry
  • Nucleocapsid Proteins / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • HLA-A11 Antigen
  • Nucleocapsid Proteins
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • Viral Vaccines