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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection induces profound differentiation of T cells, and is associated with impaired responses to other immune challenges. We therefore considered whether CMV infection and the consequent T-cell differentiation in Gambian infants was associated with impaired specific responses to measles vaccination or polyclonal responses to the superantigen staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB). While the concentration of undifferentiated (CD27(+) CD28(+) CCR7(+)) T-cells in peripheral blood was unaffected by CMV, there was a large increase in differentiated (CD28(-) CD57(+)) CD8 T-cells and a smaller increase in differentiated CD4 cells. One week post-vaccination, the CD4 cell interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) response to measles was lower among CMV-infected infants, but there were no other differences between the cytokine responses, or between the cytokine or proliferative responses 4 months post-vaccination. However, the CD8 T cells of CMV-infected infants proliferated more in response to SEB and the antibody response to measles correlated with the IFN-gamma response to CMV, indicating that CMV infection actually enhances some immune responses in infancy.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





388 - 400


Antibodies, Viral, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cell Differentiation, Cell Proliferation, Cells, Cultured, Cytomegalovirus Infections, Enterotoxins, Female, Gambia, Humans, Immunity, Cellular, Immunologic Memory, Infant, Interferon-gamma, Male, Measles Vaccine, Measles virus, Superantigens, T-Lymphocyte Subsets