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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 523560, 7 pages
Research Article

Cytokine Profiles and Cell Proliferation Responses to Truncated ORF2 Protein in Iranian Patients Recovered from Hepatitis E Infection

1Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr 7514633341, Iran
2Persian Gulf Tropical Medicine Research Centre, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr 7514633341, Iran
3Health Research Institute, Infectious and Tropical Disease Research Centre, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz 6135715794, Iran
4Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, Ahvaz Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz 6135715794, Iran
5Department of Nutrition, School of Medicine, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan 8715988141, Iran

Received 25 June 2015; Revised 23 August 2015; Accepted 2 September 2015

Academic Editor: Susana A. Laucella

Copyright © 2015 Reza Taherkhani et al. 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.


Background. The aim of this study was to evaluate hepatitis E virus (HEV) specific cellular immune responses to truncated ORF2 protein in Iranian patients recovered from HEV infection. Information about HEV-specific immune responses could be useful in finding an effective way for development of HEV vaccine. Methods. A truncated form of HEV ORF2 protein containing amino acids 112-608 was used to stimulate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) separated from HEV-recovered and control groups. Finally, the levels of four cytokines, IFN-γ ELISPOT, and cell proliferative responses following stimulation with the truncated ORF2 protein were assessed in the both groups. Results. The truncated ORF2 protein was able to induce IFN-γ ELISPOT and cell proliferation responses and to produce significant amounts of IFN-γ and IL-12 cytokines, but low amounts of IL-10 and IL-4 cytokines in vitro. These responses were significantly higher in the recovered group compared to the control group. These results indicate the antigenic nature of the truncated ORF2 protein and production of T helper type 1 cytokines. Conclusion. The truncated ORF2 protein can effectively induce significant cellular immune responsesand can be introduced as a potential vaccine candidate. However, further studies are required to evaluate this protein in vivo.