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Infect Immun. 1998 Nov;66(11):5537-42.

Protection by CD4 or CD8 T cells against pulmonary Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin infection.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Division of Infectious Diseases, Centre for Gene Therapeutics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Mice deficient in CD8 T cells demonstrated levels of Th1 cytokines and granulomatous responses in the lungs very similar to those demonstrated by normal control mice and were fully capable of controlling pulmonary mycobacterial infection by Mycobacterium bovis BCG as assessed at day 37 postinfection. In comparison, mice deficient in CD4 T cells had similar levels of interleukin-12 (IL-12) and tumor necrosis factor alpha but lower levels of gamma interferon in the lungs and were still able to mount tissue granulomatous responses and control pulmonary mycobacterial infection. In contrast, IL-12(-/-) mice with impaired CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses had a markedly weakened control of infection, whereas SCID mice deficient in all T cells succumbed to such pulmonary mycobacterial infections.

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