Indexed on: 02 Oct '07Published on: 02 Oct '07Published in: Cellular Immunology
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes severe respiratory disease in infants and a vaccine is highly desirable. The fusion (F) protein of RSV is an important vaccine target, but the contribution of F-specific T cells to successful vaccination remains unclear. We studied the immune response to vaccination of mice with a recombinant Sendai virus expressing RSV F (rSeV F). rSeV F induced protective neutralizing antibody and RSV F-specific CTL responses. T cell immunity was stronger than that induced by recombinant vaccinia virus (rVV F), a well characterized reference vector. Vaccination of antibody-deficient mice showed that vaccine-induced RSV F-specific T cells were sufficient for protective immunity. rSeV F induced T cell immunity in the presence of neutralizing antibodies, which did not impair the vaccine response. Although the F protein only contains a subdominant CTL epitope, vaccination with rSeV F is sufficient to induce protective T cell immunity against RSV in mice.