CD8 T Cell Responses to an Immunodominant Epitope within the Nonstructural Protein NS1 Provide Wide Immunoprotection against Bluetongue Virus in IFNAR-/- Mice

J Virol. 2018 Jul 31;92(16):e00938-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00938-18. Print 2018 Aug 15.


The development of vaccines against bluetongue, a prevalent livestock disease, has been focused on surface antigens that induce strong neutralizing antibody responses. Because of their antigenic variability, these vaccines are usually serotype restricted. We now show that a single highly conserved nonstructural protein, NS1, expressed in a modified vaccinia Ankara virus (MVA) vector can provide multiserotype protection in IFNAR-/- 129 mice against bluetongue virus (BTV) that is largely dependent on CD8 T cell responses. We found that the protective antigenic capacity of NS1 resides within the N terminus of the protein and is provided in the absence of neutralizing antibodies. The protective CD8 T cell response requires the presence of a specific peptide within the N terminus of NS1, since its deletion ablates the efficacy of the vaccine formulation. These data reveal the importance of the nonstructural protein NS1 in CD8 T cell-mediated protection against multiple BTV serotypes when vectorized as a recombinant MVA vaccine.IMPORTANCE Conventional vaccines have controlled or limited BTV expansion in the past, but they cannot address the need for cross-protection among serotypes and do not allow distinguishing between infected and vaccinated animals (DIVA strategy). There is a need to develop universal vaccines that induce effective protection against multiple BTV serotypes. In this work we have shown the importance of the nonstructural protein NS1, conserved among all the BTV serotypes, in CD8 T cell-mediated protection against multiple BTV serotypes when vectorized as a recombinant MVA vaccine.

Keywords: CD8 T cell response; DIVA; MVA; NS1; bluetongue; multiserotype; vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bluetongue / prevention & control
  • Bluetongue virus / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Carriers
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / immunology*
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta / deficiency*
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / genetics
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology
  • Vaccinia virus / genetics
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / immunology*
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Viral Vaccines / genetics
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*


  • Drug Carriers
  • Ifnar1 protein, mouse
  • Immunodominant Epitopes
  • NS1 protein, bluetongue virus
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins
  • Viral Vaccines
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta
  • Interferon-gamma