Document Type


Date of Original Version



Variation in the sequence of T cell epitopes between dengue virus (DENV) serotypes is believed to alter memory T cell responses during second heterologous infections. We identified a highly conserved, novel, HLA-B57-restricted epitope on the DENV NS1 protein. We predicted higher frequencies of B57-NS126-34-specific CD8+ T cells in PBMC from individuals undergoing secondary rather than primary DENV infection. However, high tetramer-positive T cell frequencies during acute infection were seen in only 1 of 9 subjects with secondary infection. B57-NS126-34-specific and other DENV epitope-specific CD8+ T cells, as well as total CD8+ T cells, expressed an activated phenotype (CD69+ and/or CD38+) during acute infection. In contrast, expression of CD71 was largely limited to DENV epitope-specific CD8+ T cells. In vitro stimulation of cell lines indicated that CD71 expression was differentially sensitive to stimulation by homologous and heterologous variant peptides. CD71 may represent a useful marker of antigen-specific T cell activation.