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Nat Immunol. 2009 May;10(5):524-30. doi: 10.1038/ni.1718. Epub 2009 Mar 22.

Memory T cells in nonlymphoid tissue that provide enhanced local immunity during infection with herpes simplex virus.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Victoria, Australia.


Effective immunity is dependent on long-surviving memory T cells. Various memory subsets make distinct contributions to immune protection, especially in peripheral infection. It has been suggested that T cells in nonlymphoid tissues are important during local infection, although their relationship with populations in the circulation remains poorly defined. Here we describe a unique memory T cell subset present after acute infection with herpes simplex virus that remained resident in the skin and in latently infected sensory ganglia. These T cells were in disequilibrium with the circulating lymphocyte pool and controlled new infection with this virus. Thus, these cells represent an example of tissue-resident memory T cells that can provide protective immunity at points of pathogen entry.

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