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Nat Med. 2002 Jan;8(1):54-60.

Respiratory syncytial virus infection suppresses lung CD8+ T-cell effector activity and peripheral CD8+ T-cell memory in the respiratory tract.

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Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of morbidity from respiratory infection in infants, young children and the elderly. No effective vaccine against RSV is currently available and studies of the natural history of RSV infection suggest repeated infections with antigenically related virus strains are common throughout an individual's lifetime. We have studied the CD8+ T-cell response during experimental murine RSV infection and found that RSV inhibits the expression of effector activity by activated RSV-specific CD8+ T cells infiltrating the lung parenchyma and the development of pulmonary CD8+ T-cell memory by interfering with TCR-mediated signaling. These data suggest a possible mechanism to explain the limited duration of protective immunity in RSV infection.

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