Vaccine. 2012. 30:6054-6063
Venkata R. Duvvuri, Alex Marchand-Austin, Alireza Eshaghi, Samir N. Patel, Donald E. Low, Jonathan B. Gubbay.
An immuno-informatics study was conducted to determine possible pre-existing T cellular immunity to the recently emerged swine-origin triple reassortant H3N2 variant (S-OtrH3N2v-2011) which acquired the matrix gene of influenza A (H1N1)pdm09. Given the genetic origin of S-OtrH3N2v-2011, our study focused on the hemagglutinin (HA) and matrix1 (M1) proteins to identify common and conserved T cell epitopes. We compared HA CD4+ T cell epitopes of S-OtrH3N2v-2011 with seasonal H3N2 (1968–2011)-HA proteins. M1 CD4+ and CD8+ T cell epitopes of S-OtrH3N2v-2011 were compared with the M1 proteins of seasonal H1N1 (1977–2009) and A (H1N1)pdm09 (2009–2011) subtypes. The results revealed a high conservancy of epitopes localized particularly on HA2 and the entire M1 protein. The overall cross reactivity of predicted CD4+ T cell epitopes with previously experimentally defined (Immuno Epitope Database) CD4+ T epitopes of HA and M1 proteins was ～51%. CD8+ T cell cross-reactivity of ～74% was documented for M1 protein. Analysis suggests possible pre-existing CD4+ T cell immunity to S-OtrH3N2v-2011 in the human population.