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Adv Immunol. 2012;113:51-80. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394590-7.00005-1.

Probing CD8 T cell responses with Listeria monocytogenes infection.

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Department of Pathology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.


CD8 T cells play a critical role in the control and eradication of intracellular pathogens. Increased understanding of CD8 T cell biology provides insight that can be translated into improved vaccination strategies. The intracellular bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes, has been used as a model organism to study every phase of the CD8 T cell response to intracellular bacterial infection. Infection of laboratory mice with L. monocytogenes has provided insight into the factors that are involved in primary T cell responses, memory CD8 T cell generation, maintenance, functionality, and diversification following repeated pathogenic challenges. In this review, we will focus on work from our laboratories utilizing the murine model of L. monocytogenes to investigate the characteristics of CD8 T cell responses to infection. This model has profoundly advanced our understanding of the CD8 T cell response to infection and is likely to continue to provide invaluable basic insights that can be translated into the development of effective vaccination strategies to protect against pathogens.

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