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Rev Med Virol. 2014 Nov;24(6):379-95. doi: 10.1002/rmv.1797. Epub 2014 Jun 2.

Human cytomegalovirus tropism for mucosal myeloid dendritic cells.

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Center for Immunobiology and Vaccine Development, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA, 94609, USA.


Human CMV infections are a serious source of morbidity and mortality for immunocompromised patients and for the developing fetus. Because of this, the development of new strategies to prevent CMV acquisition and transmission is a top priority. Myeloid dendritic cells (DC) residing in the oral and nasal mucosae are among the first immune cells to encounter CMV during entry and greatly contribute to virus dissemination, reactivation from latency, and horizontal spread. Albeit affected by the immunoevasive tactics of CMV, mucosal DC remain potent inducers of cellular and humoral immune responses against this virus. Their natural functions could thus be exploited to generate long-lasting protective immunity against CMV by vaccination via the oronasal mucosae. Although related, epithelial Langerhans-type DC and dermal monocyte-derived DC interact with CMV in dramatically different ways. Whereas immature monocyte-derived DC are fully permissive to infection, for instance, immature Langerhans-type DC are completely resistant. Understanding these differences is essential to design innovative vaccines and new antiviral compounds to protect these cells from CMV infection in vivo.

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