Faculty Advisor

Dr. Jill Rulfs

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Francis A. Ennis

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Alan L. Rothman

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Ronald D. Cheetham


"Sin Nombre virus is a hantavirus first recognized in New Mexico in 1993. This virus is responsible for causing Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, an acute, life threatening illness characterized by pulmonary edema, capillary leaking, and extreme respiratory distress. CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell lines specific for Sin Nombre virus were isolated from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of a donor (NM3) who was naturally infected with the Sin Nombre virus, and has survived hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) assays showed that one of these cell lines, 10K, specifically recognizes a nine amino acid epitope, TAHGVGIIP (amino acids 664-672 of the precursor GPC protein), which is located in the G2 protein after cleavage. Another cell line, 10c27, specifically recognized an eight amino acid epitope, AHGVGIIP (amino acids 665-672 of the precursor GPC protein), located in the G2 protein after cleavage. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and CTL assays, the recognition of these epitopes was shown to be restricted by the B35.01 Class 1 human leukocyte associated antigen (HLA) allele. This information will be useful in creating a vaccine for use in immunizing people against the Sin Nombre hantavirus, as well as elucidating the pathogenesis of this disease. "


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Biology & Biotechnology

Project Type


Date Accepted





Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, hantavirus, Sin Nombre, T-cell lines, Hantaviruses, Antigenic determinants, T cells