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Immunity. 2006 Oct;25(4):533-43.

Confronting complexity: real-world immunodominance in antiviral CD8+ T cell responses.

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Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Antiviral CD8(+) T cells respond to only a minute fraction of the potential peptide determinants encoded by viral genomes. Immunogenic determinants can be ordered into highly reproducible hierarchies based on the magnitude of cognate CD8(+) T cell responses. Until recently, this phenomenon, termed immunodominance, was largely defined and characterized in model systems utilizing a few strains of inbred mice infected with a handful of viruses with limited coding capacity. Here, I review work that has extended immunodominance studies to viruses of greater complexity and to the real world of human antiviral immunity.

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