Publications & Posters

Single-Cell Tracking Reveals a Role for Pre-Existing CCR5+ Memory Th1 Cells in the Control of Rhinovirus-A39 After Experimental Challenge in Humans.

Muehling LM, Turner RB, Brown KB, Wright PW, Patrie JT, Lahtinen SJ, Lehtinen MJ, Kwok WW and Woodfolk JA.

J Infect Dis. 2018;217:381-392.

DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jix514


Background: Little is known about T cells that respond to human rhinovirus in vivo, due to timing of infection, viral diversity, and complex T-cell specificities. We tracked circulating CD4+ T cells with identical epitope specificities that responded to intranasal challenge with rhinovirus (RV)-A39, and we assessed T-cell signatures in the nose.

Methods: Cells were monitored using a mixture of 2 capsid-specific major histocompatibility complex II tetramers over a 7-week period, before and after RV-A39 challenge, in 16 human leukocyte antigen-DR4+ subjects who participated in a trial of Bifidobacterium lactis (Bl-04) supplementation.

Results: Pre-existing tetramer+ T cells were linked to delayed viral shedding, enriched for activated CCR5+ Th1 effectors, and included a minor interleukin-21+ T follicular helper cell subset. After RV challenge, expansion and activation of virus-specific CCR5+ Th1 effectors was restricted to subjects who had a rise in neutralizing antibodies, and tetramer-negative CCR5+ effector memory types were comodulated. In the nose, CXCR3-CCR5+ T cells present during acute infection were activated effector memory type, whereas CXCR3+ cells were central memory type, and cognate chemokine ligands were elevated over baseline. Probiotic had no T-cell effects.

Conclusions: We conclude that virus-specific CCR5+ effector memory CD4+ T cells primed by previous exposure to related viruses contribute to the control of rhinovirus.