Definition and characterization of novel HLA-*A02-restricted CD8+ T cell epitopes derived from JCV polyomavirus with clinical relevance
Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) associated with polyomavirus JC (JCV) infection has been reported to be usually fatal in allogeneic hematopoietic SCT (HSCT) recipients. We present the case of a 19-year-old HSCT patient diagnosed with JCV-associated PML after prolonged immunosuppression for severe GVHD. No short-term neurological improvement was observed after antiviral treatment and discontinuation of immunosuppressive therapy. Donor-derived JCV Ag-specific CTLs were generated in vitro after stimulation with 15-mer peptides derived from VP1 and large T viral proteins. After adoptive CTL infusion, virus-specific cytotoxic cells were shown in the peripheral blood, JCV-DNA was cleared in the cerebrospinal fluid and the patient showed remarkable improvement. Adoptive T-lymphocyte therapy with JCV-specific CTLs was feasible and had no side effects. This case suggests that adoptive transfer of JCV-targeted CTLs may contribute to restore JCV-specific immune competence and control PML in transplanted patients.