Characterisation of the T-cell response to Ebola virus glycoprotein amongst survivors of the 2013-16 West Africa epidemic

Nat Commun. 2021 Feb 19;12(1):1153. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21411-0.


Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) is a highly pathogenic filovirus which can result in Ebola virus disease (EVD); a serious medical condition that presents as flu like symptoms but then often leads to more serious or fatal outcomes. The 2013-16 West Africa epidemic saw an unparalleled number of cases. Here we show characterisation and identification of T cell epitopes in surviving patients from Guinea to the EBOV glycoprotein. We perform interferon gamma (IFNγ) ELISpot using a glycoprotein peptide library to identify T cell epitopes and determine the CD4+ or CD8+ T cell component response. Additionally, we generate data on the T cell phenotype and measure polyfunctional cytokine secretion by these antigen specific cells. We show candidate peptides able to elicit a T cell response in EBOV survivors and provide inferred human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allele restriction. This data informs on the long-term T cell response to Ebola virus disease and highlights potentially important immunodominant peptides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Western / epidemiology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Ebolavirus / genetics
  • Ebolavirus / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay
  • Epidemics
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Survivors
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Glycoproteins
  • Interferon-gamma