Volume 6, Issue 6
Cytomegalovirus--physiology; Cytomegalovirus Infections--immunology; Cytomegalovirus Infections--virology
Cytomegalovirus, of the Herpesviridae family, has evolved alongside humans for thousands of years with an intricate balance of latency, immune evasion, and transmission. While upwards of 70% of humans have evidence of CMV infection, the majority of healthy people show little to no clinical symptoms of primary infection and CMV disease is rarely observed during persistent infection in immunocompetent hosts. Despite the fact that the majority of infected individuals are asymptomatic, immunologically, CMV hijacks the immune system by infecting and remaining latent in antigen-presenting cells that occasionally reactivate subclinically and present antigen to T cells, eventually causing the inflation of CMV-specific T cells until they can compromise up to 10% of the entire T cell repertoire. Because of this impact on the immune system, as well as its importance in fields such as stem cell and organ transplant, the relationship between CMV and the immune response has been studied in depth. Here we provide a review of many of these studies and insights into how CMV-specific T cells are currently being used therapeutically.
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Hanley, P.J., Bollard, C.M. (2014). Controlling cytomegalovirus: Helping the immune system take the lead. Viruses, 6(6), 2242-2258. doi:10.3390/v6062242