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Increasing evidences support a critical role of CD8+ T cell immunity against influenza. Activation of mucosal CD8+T cells, particularly tissue-resident memory T(TRM) cells recognizing conserved epitopes would mediate rapid and broad protection. Matrix protein 1(M1) is a well-conserved internal protein. We studied the capacity of Modified Vaccinia Ankara-vectored vaccine expressing nucleoprotein(NP) and M1(MVA-NP+M1) to activate M1-specific CD8+ T cell response including TRM cells in nasopharynx-associated lymphoid tissue(NALT) from children and adults. Following MVA-NP+M1 stimulation, M1 was abundantly expressed in adenotonsillar epithelial cells and B cells. MVA-NP+M1 activated marked IFN-γ-secreting T cell response to M1 peptides. Using tetramer staining, we showed the vaccine activated a marked increase in M158-66-specific CD8+ T cells in tonsillar mononuclear cells (MNC) of HLA-matched individuals. We also demonstrated MVA-NP+M1 activated a substantial increase in TRM cells exhibiting effector memory T cell phenotype. Upon recall antigen recognition, M1-specific T cells rapidly undergo cytotoxic degranulation, release granzyme B and pro-inflammatory cytokines, leading to target cell killing. Conclusion: MVA-NP+M1 elicits a substantial M1-specific T cell response including TRM cells in NALT, demonstrating its strong capacity to expand memory T cell pool exhibiting effector memory T cell phenotype, therefore offering great potential for rapid and broad protection against influenza reinfection.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of infectious diseases

Publication Date



Department of Clinical Infection, Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, UK.