Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics

Memory T cells specific for HBV enumerated by a peptide-based cultured enzyme-linked immunospot assay in healthy HBV-vaccinated subjects.

PMID 27392260


Hepatitis B vaccine is the most effective strategy to control hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and disease. It is considered that an anti-HBs (antibodies against HBV surface antigen) titer >10 mIU/ml, measured shortly after a complete vaccination schedule, provides protection against infection. Approximately 4-10% of healthy individuals fail to respond to 3-dose vaccination. Long-term HBV-specific memory T-cell response has not been fully investigated, mainly due to the lack of a suitable assay. We quantified HBV-specific expandable memory T cells by using a cultured IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay. Cultured ELISPOT response to an overlapping peptide pool representing the complete L (large) HBV envelope polypeptide was evaluated in 41 healthy subjects vaccinated 15-20 y earlier and 5 unvaccinated. Plasma samples were tested for anti-HBs. Vaccinated subjects had significantly higher HBV-specific T-cellular response than unvaccinated (p = 0.0002). HBV-specific T-cell response was mainly mediated by CD4