T-Track® EBV (CE)
Anyone who has once come into contact with certain pathogens, for example viruses, forms specific T lymphocytes (memory T cells), which maintain an immunological memory for the antigen triggering the disease.
If the corresponding antigen is added to the blood of a person who has already been in contact with it, this leads to a fast restimulation of the antigen-specific memory T cells. These secrete the cytokine IFN-γ, which can be measured as a specific marker of the specific immune response.
The T-Track® tests are based on the in vitro stimulation of mononuclear cells of the peripheral blood (PBMC) with UREA-formulated, virus-specific proteins. Unlike untreated proteins, these have the ability to simultaneously restimulate a broad spectrum of clinically relevant populations of effector cells (T-helper and cytotoxic T cells and via a bystander activation NK and NKT cells) in a mostly HLA independent way.
The reactivated, IFN-γ secreting effector cells are subsequently quantified by ELISpot technology. This highly sensitive test method makes it possible to detect secreted cytokines as specific markers of the immune response on the level of individual cells.
Two different UREA-formulated proteins are used to stimulate EBV-specific blood leukocytes with the T-Track® EBV kit.
The EBV nuclear protein EBNA-3A and BZLF1, which causes a switchover from the latent to the lytic stage of the virus, have special immunogenic properties. Stimulating the blood leukocytes with EBNA-3A and BZLF1 causes an intense reactivation of EBV-specific memory cells, which can be detected by the production of the cytokine interferon-γ (IFN-γ).
The combined application of EBNA-3A and BZLF1 allows a mostly HLA-independent measurement of the EBV-specific immune response in more than 95% of the EBV seropositive blood donors.
It is envisaged that clinical studies will provide a reliable, comprehensive determination of the EBV-specific cell-mediated immunity.