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Science. 1996 Jan 12;271(5246):173-8.

Immunology taught by viruses.

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  • 1Institute of Experimental Immunology, University of Zurich, Switzerland.


The survival of viruses depends on the survival of susceptible hosts. The vertebrate immune system and viruses have therefore coevolved complementary facets. Evidence from various balanced virus-host relationships illustrates that immunological specificity and memory may best be defined biologically and that the mature immune system does not discriminate between "self" and "nonself." Rather, B cells distinguish antigen patterns, whereas T cell responses depend on localization, transport, and kinetics of antigen within lymphatic organs.

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