Challenging immunodominance of influenza-specific CD8+ T cell responses restricted by the risk-associated HLA-A*68:01 allomorph Academic Article uri icon


  • Although influenza viruses lead to severe illness in high-risk populations, host genetic factors associated with severe disease are largely unknown. As the HLA-A*68:01 allele can be linked to severe pandemic 2009-H1N1 disease, we investigate a potential impairment of HLA-A*68:01-restricted CD8+ T cells to mount robust responses. We elucidate the HLA-A*68:01+CD8+ T cell response directed toward an extended influenza-derived nucleoprotein (NP) peptide and show that only ~35% individuals have immunodominant A68/NP145+CD8+ T cell responses. Dissecting A68/NP145+CD8+ T cells in low vs. medium/high responders reveals that high responding donors have A68/NP145+CD8+ memory T cells with clonally expanded TCRαβs, while low-responders display A68/NP145+CD8+ T cells with predominantly naïve phenotypes and non-expanded TCRαβs. Single-cell index sorting and TCRαβ analyses link expansion of A68/NP145+CD8+ T cells to their memory potential. Our study demonstrates the immunodominance potential of influenza-specific CD8+ T cells presented by a risk HLA-A*68:01 molecule and advocates for priming CD8+ T cell compartments in HLA-A*68:01-expressing individuals for establishment of pre-existing protective memory T cell pools.


  • van de Sandt, CE
  • Clemens, EB
  • Grant, EJ
  • Rowntree, LC
  • Sant, S
  • Halim, H
  • Crowe, J
  • Cheng, AC
  • Kotsimbos, TC
  • Richards, M
  • Miller, A
  • Tong, SYC
  • Rossjohn, J
  • Nguyen, THO
  • Gras, S
  • Chen, W
  • Kedzierska, K

publication date

  • 2019

has subject area