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

Annie Elong Ngono, Edward A. Vizcarra, William W. Tang, Nicholas Sheets, Yunichel Joo, Kenneth Kim, Matthew J. Gorman, Michael S. Diamond, Sujan Shresta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 11 2017


  • CD8 T cell
  • LysMCreIFNAR
  • Zika virus
  • epitope
  • mouse model
  • peptide

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