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Frequencies of memory T cells specific for varicella-zoster virus, herpes simplex virus, and cytomegalovirus by intracellular detection of cytokine expression

, : Frequencies of memory T cells specific for varicella-zoster virus, herpes simplex virus, and cytomegalovirus by intracellular detection of cytokine expression. Journal of Infectious Diseases 181(3): 859-866

Memory T cells specific for varicella-zoster virus (VZV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) were compared in immune adults by intracellular cytokine (ICC) detection. The mean percentages of CD4+ T cells were 0.11% for VZV and 0.22% for HSV by interferon (IFN)-gamma production; the frequency for HCMV was significantly higher at 1.21%. Percentages of VZV-, HSV-, and HCMV-specific CD4+ T cells were similar by use of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. HCMV-stimulated CD8+ T cells produced IFN-gamma (1.11%) and TNF-alpha (1.71%); VZV- and HSV-specific CD8+ T cells were not detectable. VZV CD4+ T cell numbers were similar in young adults with natural or vaccine-induced immunity. VZV CD4+ T cells were significantly less frequent in older adults. Secondary varicella immunization did not increase VZV-specific CD4+ T cell frequencies by ICC assay. Numbers of memory T cells specific for herpesviruses may vary with sites of viral latency and with host age.


PMID: 10720505

DOI: 10.1086/315347

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