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      Primary Epstein-Barr virus infection does not erode preexisting CD8+ T cell memory in humans

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          Bystander activation of human CD8 + T cells specific for influenza or cytomegalovirus during primary Epstein-Barr virus infection does not result in preexisting memory T cell attrition.


          Acute Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection results in an unusually robust CD8 + T cell response in young adults. Based on mouse studies, such a response would be predicted to result in attrition of preexisting memory to heterologous infections like influenza A (Flu) and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Furthermore, many studies have attempted to define the lymphocytosis that occurs during acute EBV infection in humans, but it is unclear whether bystander T cells contribute to it. To address these issues, we performed a longitudinal prospective study of primary EBV infection in humans. During acute EBV infection, both preexisting CMV- and Flu-specific memory CD8 + T cells showed signs of bystander activation, including up-regulation of granzyme B. However, they generally did not expand, suggesting that the profound CD8 + lymphocytosis associated with acute EBV infection is composed largely of EBV-specific T cells. Importantly, the numbers of CMV- and Flu-specific T cells were comparable before and after acute EBV infection. The data support the concept that, in humans, a robust CD8 + T cell response creates a new memory CD8 + T cell niche without substantially depleting preexisting memory for heterologous infections.

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          Most cited references 36

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          Cellular responses to viral infection in humans: lessons from Epstein-Barr virus.

          Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) provides a useful model to study cellular immunity to a genetically stable, persistent human virus. Different sets of proteins expressed during EBV's lytic and cell transforming infections induce qualitatively different cellular immune responses. The factors governing immunodominance hierarchies and the biological effectiveness of these different responses are now being revealed. Analysis of infectious mononucleosis (IM), a clinical syndrome that can arise during primary EBV infection, has allowed the evolution of the responses to be tracked over time, giving an understanding of the immune response kinetics and of those determinants affecting selection into memory. Furthermore, following IM, expression of the receptor for the homeostatic cytokine IL-15 on NK and T cells is lost within these individuals. This experiment of nature provides a system to advance understanding of immunological homeostasis in humans, illustrating how data obtained from the study of EBV have wider significance to the immunological community.
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            Human effector and memory CD8+ T cell responses to smallpox and yellow fever vaccines.

            To explore the human T cell response to acute viral infection, we performed a longitudinal analysis of CD8(+) T cells responding to the live yellow fever virus and smallpox vaccines--two highly successful human vaccines. Our results show that both vaccines generated a brisk primary effector CD8(+) T cell response of substantial magnitude that could be readily quantitated with a simple set of four phenotypic markers. Secondly, the vaccine-induced T cell response was highly specific with minimal bystander effects. Thirdly, virus-specific CD8(+) T cells passed through an obligate effector phase, contracted more than 90% and gradually differentiated into long-lived memory cells. Finally, these memory cells were highly functional and underwent a memory differentiation program distinct from that described for human CD8(+) T cells specific for persistent viruses. These results provide a benchmark for CD8(+) T cell responses induced by two of the most effective vaccines ever developed.
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              Direct Visualization of Antigen-specific CD8+T Cells during the Primary Immune Response to Epstein-Barr Virus In Vivo

              Primary infection with virus can stimulate a vigorous cytotoxic T cell response. The magnitude of the antigen-specific component versus the bystander component of a primary T cell response remains controversial. In this study, we have used tetrameric major histocompatibility complex–peptide complexes to directly visualize antigen-specific cluster of differentration (CD)8+ T cells during the primary immune response to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in humans. We show that massive expansion of activated, antigen-specific T cells occurs during the primary response to this virus. In one individual, T cells specific for a single EBV epitope comprised 44% of the total CD8+ T cells within peripheral blood. The majority of the antigen-specific cells had an activated/memory phenotype, with expression of human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA) DR, CD38, and CD45RO, downregulation of CD62 leukocyte (CD62L), and low levels of expression of CD45RA. After recovery from AIM, the frequency of antigen-specific T cells fell in most donors studied, although populations of antigen-specific cells continued to be easily detectable for at least 3 yr.

                Author and article information

                J Exp Med
                J. Exp. Med
                The Journal of Experimental Medicine
                The Rockefeller University Press
                12 March 2012
                : 209
                : 3
                : 471-478
                [1 ]Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology , [2 ]Department of Pediatrics , and [3 ]Department of Microbiology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN 55455
                Author notes
                CORRESPONDENCE Kristin A. Hogquist: hogqu001@
                © 2012 Odumade et al.

                This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as described at

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