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Typhoid fever, caused by the human-restricted organism Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi), constitutes a major global health problem. The development of improved attenuated vaccines is pressing, but delayed by the lack of appropriate preclinical models. Herein, we report that high levels of S. Typhi-responsive CD8+ T cells at baseline significantly correlate with an increased risk of disease in humans challenged with a high dose (~10(4) CFU) wild-type S. Typhi. Typhoid fever development was associated with higher multifunctional S. Typhi-responsive CD8+ T effector memory cells at baseline. Early decreases of these cells in circulation following challenge were observed in both S. Typhi-responsive integrin α4β7- and integrin α4β7+ CD8+ T effector memory (TEM) cells, suggesting their potential to home to both mucosal and extra-intestinal sites. Participants with higher baseline levels of S. Typhi-responsive CD8+ T memory cells had a higher risk of acquiring disease, but among those who acquired disease, those with a higher baseline responses took longer to develop disease. In contrast, protection against disease was associated with low or absent S. Typhi-responsive T cells at baseline and no changes in circulation following challenge. These data highlight the importance of pre-existing S. Typhi-responsive immunity in predicting clinical outcome following infection with wild-type S. Typhi and provide novel insights into the complex mechanisms involved in protective immunity to natural infection in a stringent human model with a high challenge dose. They also contribute important information on the immunological responses to be assessed in the appraisal and selection of new generation typhoid vaccines.

Original publication




Journal article


Front Immunol

Publication Date





208 - 208


CD8+ T cells, Salmonella Typhi, cell-mediated immunity, cytokines, cytotoxicity, multifunctional, typhoid fever