Antiviral CD8 T cells in the control of primary human cytomegalovirus infection in early childhood

Sharon F. Chen, Wen Wei Tu, Margaret A. Sharp, Eileen Cordoba Tongson, Xiaosong He, Harry B. Greenberg, Tyson H. Holmes, Zhaoti Wang, George Kemble, Anne Marie Manganello, Stuart P. Adler, Cornelia L. Dekker, David B. Lewis, Ann M. Arvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) establishes persistent infection, with control of replication thought to be mediated by CMV-specific CD8 T cells. Primary CMV infection commonly affects young children and causes prolonged viral shedding in saliva and urine. We investigated whether this virus-host interaction pattern reflects a developmental deficiency of antiviral CD8 T cell-mediated immunity during childhood. CMV-specific CD8 T cell responses in asymptomatic children with active infection were not different from adults with recent or long-term infection in frequency and functional analyses. High urine CMV concentrations were detected, despite these CMV-specific CD8 T cell responses. We conclude that delayed resolution of primary CMV infection in young children is not caused by a deficient CMV-specific CD8 T cell response. Because these healthy children continue to have local CMV replication, we suggest that CD8 T cells may function primarily to prevent symptomatic, disseminated disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1619-1627
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Antiviral CD8 T cells in the control of primary human cytomegalovirus infection in early childhood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this