Large clonal expansions of CD8+ T cells in acute infectious mononucleosis.
Callan MF., Steven N., Krausa P., Wilson JD., Moss PA., Gillespie GM., Bell JI., Rickinson AB., McMichael AJ.
Primary infection with Epstein-Barr virus often results in the clinical syndrome of acute infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever). This illness is characterized by a striking lymphocytosis, the nature of which has been controversial. We show that large monoclonal or oligoclonal populations of CD8+ T cells account for a significant proportion of the lymphocytosis and provide molecular evidence that these populations have been driven by antigen. The results suggest that the selective and massive expansion of a few dominant clones of CD8+ T cells is an important feature of the primary response to this virus.