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Immunol Cell Biol. 2011 Mar;89(3):340-5. doi: 10.1038/icb.2010.155. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

Insights into human CD8(+) T-cell memory using the yellow fever and smallpox vaccines.

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Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University, 1462 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA, 30322, USA.


Live virus vaccines provide a unique opportunity to study human CD8(+) T-cell memory in the context of a controlled, primary acute viral infection. Yellow fever virus-17D and Dryvax are two such live-virus vaccines that are highly efficacious, used worldwide and provide long-term immunity against yellow fever and smallpox respectively. In this review, we describe the properties of virus-specific memory CD8(+) T cells generated in smallpox and yellow fever vaccinees. We address fundamental questions regarding magnitude, functional quality and longevity of the CD8(+) T-cell response, which are otherwise challenging to address in humans. These findings provide insights into the attributes of the human immune system as well as provide a benchmark for the optimal quality of a CD8(+) T-cell response that can be used to evaluate novel candidate vaccines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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