Immunodominant T-cell epitopes in the VP1 capsid protein of rhinovirus species A and C

Cibele Gaido, Shane Stone, A. Chopra, Wayne R. Thomas, Peter N. Le Souef, Belinda J. Hales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.Rhinovirus (RV) species A and C are the most frequent cause of respiratory viral illness worldwide, and RV-C has been linked to more severe exacerbations of asthma in young children. Little is known about the immune responses to the different RV species, although studies comparing IgG1 antibody titers found impaired antibody responses to RV-C. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess whether T-cell immunity to RV-C is similarly impaired. We measured T-cell proliferation to overlapping synthetic peptides covering the entire VP1 capsid protein of an RV-A and RV-C genotype for 20 healthy adult donors. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) was typed in all the donors in order to investigate possible associations between the HLA type and RV peptide recognition. Total and specific IgG1 antibody titers to the VP1 proteins of both RV-A and RV-C were also measured to examine associations between the antibody and T-cell responses.Weidentified T-cell epitopes that are specific to and representative of each RV-A and RV-C species. These epitopes stimulated CD4+-specific T-cell proliferation, with similar magnitudes of response for both RV species. All the donors, independent of their HLA-DR or -DQ type, were able to recognize the immunodominant RV-A and -C regions of VP1. Furthermore, the presence or absence of specific antibody titers was not related to changes in T-cell recognition. Our results indicate a dissociation between the antibody and T-cell responses to rhinoviruses. The species-representative T-cell epitopes identified in this study are valuable tools for future studies investigating T-cell responses to the different RV species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10459-10471
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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