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BackgroundAntibody Fc-mediated functions, such as antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, contribute to vaccine-induced protection against viral infections. Fc-mediated function of anti-Ebola glycoprotein (GP) antibodies suggest that Fc-dependent activation of effector cells, including natural killer (NK) cells, could play a role in vaccination against Ebola virus disease.MethodsWe analyzed the effect on primary human NK cell activation of anti-Ebola GP antibody in the serum of United Kingdom-based volunteers vaccinated with the novel 2-dose heterologous adenovirus type 26.ZEBOV, modified vaccinia Ankara-BN-Filo vaccine regimen.ResultsWe demonstrate primary human NK cell CD107a and interferon γ expression, combined with down-regulation of CD16, in response to recombinant Ebola virus GP and post-vaccine dose 1 and dose 2 serum samples. These responses varied significantly with vaccine regimen, and NK cell activation was found to correlate with anti-GP antibody concentration. We also reveal an impact of NK cell differentiation phenotype on antibody-dependent NK cell activation, with highly differentiated CD56dimCD57+ NK cells being the most responsive.ConclusionsThese findings highlight the dual importance of vaccine-induced antibody concentration and NK cell differentiation status in promoting Fc-mediated activation of NK cells after vaccination, raising a potential role for antibody-mediated NK cell activation in vaccine-induced immune responses.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of infectious diseases

Publication Date





1171 - 1182


Department of Infection Biology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.