Human Zika infection induces a reduction of IFN-γ producing CD4 T-cells and a parallel expansion of effector Vδ2 T-cells

Eleonora Cimini, Concetta Castilletti, Alessandra Sacchi, Rita Casetti, Veronica Bordoni, Antonella Romanelli, Federica Turchi, Federico Martini, Nicola Tumino, Emanuele Nicastri, Angela Corpolongo, Antonino Di Caro, Gary Kobinger, Alimuddin Zumla, Maria Rosaria Capobianchi, Giuseppe Ippolito, Chiara Agrati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The definition of the immunological response to Zika (ZIKV) infection in humans represents a key issue to identify protective profile useful for vaccine development and for pathogenesis studies. No data are available on the cellular immune response in the acute phase of human ZIKV infection, and its role in the protection and/or pathogenesis needs to be clarified. We studied and compared the phenotype and functionality of T-cells in patients with acute ZIKV and Dengue viral (DENV) infections. A significant activation of T-cells was observed during both ZIKV and DENV infections. ZIKV infection was characterized by a CD4 T cell differentiation toward effector cells and by a lower frequency of IFN-γ producing CD4 T cells. Moreover, a substantial expansion of CD3+CD4-CD8- T-cell subset expressing Vδ2 TCR was specifically observed in ZIKV patients. Vδ2 T cells presented a terminally differentiated profile, expressed granzyme B and maintained their ability to produce IFN-γ. These findings provide new knowledge on the immune response profile during self-limited infection that may help in vaccine efficacy definition, and in identifying possible immuno-pathogenetic mechanisms of severe infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6313
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Human Zika infection induces a reduction of IFN-γ producing CD4 T-cells and a parallel expansion of effector Vδ2 T-cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this