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J Gen Virol. 2001 Apr;82(Pt 4):845-53.

Differential roles of B cells and IFN-gamma-secreting CD4(+) T cells in innate and adaptive immune control of genital herpes simplex virus type 2 infection in mice.

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Departments of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and Clinical Virology, Göteborg University, Guldhedsgatan 10A, 413 46 Göteborg, Sweden.


The role of B, CD4(+) T and CD8(+) T cells in both primary genital infection with attenuated herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and development of protective immunity to a later challenge with virulent HSV-2 using lymphocyte-deficient mice has been elucidated. Following primary inoculation with attenuated thymidine kinase-deficient (TK(-)) HSV-2, B cell-deficient (microMT) mice developed a local viraemia and transient genital inflammation, suggesting a role for B cells in the innate control of local infection and inflammation. Natural antibodies are implicated in this process, as passive transfer of normal serum into microMT mice significantly reduced HSV-2 TK(-) shedding in the vaginal lumen, although it did not affect subsequent inflammation. Protection against lethal HSV-2 challenge was noted in HSV-2-vaccinated wild-type, CD8(+) T cell-deficient and microMT mice and was characterized by strong virus-specific IFN-gamma responses in vitro and delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses in vivo. In contrast, CD4(+) T cell-deficient (CD4(-/-)) mice had impaired HSV-2-specific IFN-gamma production and DTH responses and succumbed rapidly to genital HSV-2 challenge. However, protective responses to HSV-2 could be induced in HSV-2-vaccinated CD4(-/-) mice by treatment with recombinant IFN-gamma. Taken together, these results suggest that CD4(+) T cells secreting IFN-gamma are critical for immune protection against lethal genital HSV-2 re-infection, whereas B cells/natural antibodies have anti-viral and -inflammatory effects in the innate control of a primary infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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