Human Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is an ubiquitous human herpesvirus that can cause serious morbidity and mortality in individuals that are immunocompromised or immune immature. A vaccine that induces immunity to CMV in these target populations is therefore highly needed. Previous attempts to generate efficacious CMV vaccines primarily focused on the induction of humoral immunity by eliciting neutralizing antibodies, however an effective protective immune response to CMV might highly benefit from the induction of virus-specific T cells. Hence, we aim to develop a vaccine with both T and B cell immunity potential.
To induce protective T cell responses we use synthetic long peptides (SLPs) specific for MHC class I and class II CMV epitopes, as our group has shown that this combination provides significant reduction of the viral load upon challenge with virulent mouse CMV. To induce humoral immunity, we developed a DNA vaccine encoding glycoprotein B (gB) formulated in cationic liposomes. The antibody-inducing DNA vaccine and the SLP vaccine inducing CD4 and CD8 T cell responses are combined to generate a synthetic vaccine eliciting both humoral and cell-mediated immunity.
Our current endeavour is to use this vaccine platform to generate a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus of the pandemic coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19).
I studied Biomedical Sciences at the LUMC. During my Master, I performed a research internship at the LUMC in the group of Ramon Arens and a research internship in the group of Ton Schumacher at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. After I finished my Master I started my PhD research in the group of Ramon Arens in March 2018.
Histone methyltransferase DOT1L controls state-specific identity during B cell differentiation.
Aslam MA, Alemdehy MF, Maliepaard EM, Caganova M, Pardieck IN, van den Brand T, Fitriari Izzatunnisa Muhaimin, van Welsem T, Iris de Rink, Ji-Ying Song, Elzo de Wit, Arens R, Rajewsky K, Jacobs H, van Leeuwen F.
EMBO Reports. 2021; 22(2): e51184
The hallmarks of CMV-specific CD8 T-cell differentiation
van den Berg SP, Pardieck IN, Lanfermeijer J, Sauce D, Klenerman P, van Baarle D, Arens R.
Med Microbiol Immunol. 2019; 208(3-4):365-373.
Cytomegalovirus infection and progressive differentiation of effector-memory T cells.
Pardieck IN, Beyrend G, Redeker A, Arens R.
F1000Res. 2018; 7:F1000 Faculty Rev-1554.