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Med Microbiol Immunol. 2008 Jun;197(2):83-96. doi: 10.1007/s00430-008-0082-5. Epub 2008 Feb 27.

Dynamics of T cell memory in human cytomegalovirus infection.

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Department of Medicine, Level 5, Addenbrookes Hospital, University of Cambridge, Hills Rd, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UK.


Primary human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection of an immunocompetent individual leads to the generation of a robust CD4+ and CD8+ T cell response which subsequently controls viral replication. HCMV is never cleared from the host and enters into latency with periodic reactivation and viral replication, which is controlled by reactivation of the memory T cells. In this article, we discuss the magnitude, phenotype and clonality of the T cell response following primary HCMV infection, the selection of responding T cells into the long-term memory pool and maintenance of this memory T cell population in the face of a latent/persistent infection. The article also considers the effect that this long-term surveillance of HCMV has on the T cell memory phenotype, their differentiation, function and the associated concepts of T cell memory inflation and immunosenescence.

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