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J Immunol. 2007 Oct 15;179(8):5415-24.

CD8 T cells inhibit respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine-enhanced disease.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa, IA 52242, USA.


Vaccination of children with a formalin-inactivated (FI) respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine led to exacerbated disease including pulmonary eosinophilia following a natural RSV infection. Immunization of BALB/c mice with FI-RSV or a recombinant vaccinia virus (vv) expressing the RSV attachment (G) protein (vvG) results in a pulmonary Th2 response and eosinophilia after RSV challenge that closely mimics the RSV vaccine-enhanced disease observed in humans. The underlying causes of RSV vaccine-enhanced disease remain poorly understood. We demonstrate here that RSV M2-specific CD8 T cells reduce the Th2-mediated pathology induced by vvG-immunization and RSV challenge in an IFN-gamma-independent manner. We also demonstrate that FI-RSV immunization does not induce a measurable RSV-specific CD8 T cell response and that priming FI-RSV-immunized mice for a potent memory RSV-specific CD8 T cell response abrogates pulmonary eosinophilia after subsequent RSV challenge. Our results suggest that the failure of the FI-RSV vaccine to induce a CD8 T cell response may have contributed to the development of pulmonary eosinophilia and augmented disease that occurred in vaccinated individuals.

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