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Infect Immun. 1994 Dec;62(12):5603-7.

CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell-dependent and -independent host defense mechanisms can operate to control and resolve primary and secondary Francisella tularensis LVS infection in mice.

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  • 1Trudeau Institute, Inc., Saranac Lake, New York 12983.


Immunity to experimental infection with the facultative intracellular bacterium Francisella tularensis is generally considered an example of T-cell-mediated, macrophage-expressed immunity. However, the results of the present study indicate that T-cell-independent mechanisms are also important in anti-Francisella defense. They show that mice selectively depleted of CD4+, CD8+, or both T-cell populations by treatment with T-cell subset-specific monoclonal antibodies remained capable of controlling and partly resolving a primary sublethal Francisella infection. Similarly, it was found that Francisella-immune mice depleted of either or both subsets of T cells retain a high degree of acquired immunity to reinfection. Together, these findings imply that resistance to primary and secondary tularemia can be mediated by cells other than CD4+ and CD8+ T cells.

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