Human Effector and Memory CD8+ T Cell Responses to Smallpox and Yellow Fever Vaccines

Joseph D. Miller, Robbert G. van der Most, Rama S. Akondy, John T. Glidewell, Sophia Albott, David Masopust, Kaja Murali-Krishna, Patryce L. Mahar, Srilatha Edupuganti, Susan Lalor, Stephanie Germon, Carlos Del Rio, Mark J J. Mulligan, Silvija I. Staprans, John D. Altman, Mark B. Feinberg, Rafi Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

475 Scopus citations


To explore the human T cell response to acute viral infection, we performed a longitudinal analysis of CD8+ T cells responding to the live yellow fever virus and smallpox vaccines-two highly successful human vaccines. Our results show that both vaccines generated a brisk primary effector CD8+ T cell response of substantial magnitude that could be readily quantitated with a simple set of four phenotypic markers. Secondly, the vaccine-induced T cell response was highly specific with minimal bystander effects. Thirdly, virus-specific CD8+ T cells passed through an obligate effector phase, contracted more than 90% and gradually differentiated into long-lived memory cells. Finally, these memory cells were highly functional and underwent a memory differentiation program distinct from that described for human CD8+ T cells specific for persistent viruses. These results provide a benchmark for CD8+ T cell responses induced by two of the most effective vaccines ever developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-722
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 16 2008




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