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J Neurovirol. 2013 Aug;19(4):328-45. doi: 10.1007/s13365-013-0189-3. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Immunological control of herpes simplex virus infections.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Drexel University College of Medicine, 245 North 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA.


Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is capable of causing a latent infection in sensory neurons that lasts for the lifetime of the host. The primary infection is resolved following the induction of the innate immune response that controls replication of the virus until the adaptive immune response can clear the active infection. HSV-1-specific CD8(+) T cells survey the ganglionic regions containing latently infected neurons and participate in preventing reactivation of HSV from latency. The long-term residence and migration dynamics of the T cells in the trigeminal ganglia appear to distinguish them from the traditional memory T cell subsets. Recently described tissue resident memory (TRM) T cells establish residence and survive for long periods in peripheral tissue compartments following antigen exposure. This review focuses on the immune system response to HSV-1 infection. Particular emphasis is placed on the evidence pointing to the HSV-1-specific CD8(+) T cells in the trigeminal belonging to the TRM class of memory T cells and the role of TRM cells in virus infection, pathogenesis, latency, and disease.

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