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Why Are CD8 T Cell Epitopes of Human Influenza A Virus Conserved?

Abstract

Universal influenza vaccines against the conserved epitopes of influenza A virus have been proposed to minimize the burden of seasonal outbreaks and prepare for the pandemics. However, it is not clear how rapidly T cell-inducing vaccines will select for viruses that escape these T cell responses. Our mathematical models explore the factors that contribute to the conservation of CD8 T cell epitopes and how rapidly the virus will evolve in response to T cell-inducing vaccines. We identify the key biological parameters to be measured and questions that need to be addressed in future studies.

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