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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 984241, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/984241
Review Article

Protective Role of Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes in Filovirus Hemorrhagic Fever

1Vaccine Development, Integrated Biotherapeutics, Inc., 21 Firstfield Road Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, USA
2Virology Division, The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1425 Porter Street, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD 21702, USA

Received 29 June 2011; Accepted 21 October 2011

Academic Editor: Hanchun Yang

Copyright © 2011 Kelly Lyn Warfield and Gene Garrard Olinger. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Infection with many emerging viruses, such as the hemorrhagic fever disease caused by the filoviruses, Marburg (MARV), and Ebola virus (EBOV), leaves the host with a short timeframe in which to mouse a protective immune response. In lethal cases, uncontrolled viral replication and virus-induced immune dysregulation are too severe to overcome, and mortality is generally associated with a lack of notable immune responses. Vaccination studies in animals have demonstrated an association of IgG and neutralizing antibody responses against the protective glycoprotein antigen with survival from lethal challenge. More recently, studies in animal models of filovirus hemorrhagic fever have established that induction of a strong filovirus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response can facilitate complete viral clearance. In this review, we describe assays used to discover CTL responses after vaccination or live filovirus infection in both animal models and human clinical trials. Unfortunately, little data regarding CTL responses have been collected from infected human survivors, primarily due to the low frequency of disease and the inability to perform these studies in the field. Advancements in assays and technologies may allow these studies to occur during future outbreaks.