Background. A subset of the virus-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) isolated from the lungs of mice infected with human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is impaired in the ability to secrete interferon γ (IFNγ), a measure of functionality. It was suggested that the impairment specifically suppressed the host cellular immune response, a finding that could help explain the ability of RSV to re-infect throughout life. Results. To determine whether this effect is dependent on the virus, the route of infection, or the type of infection (respiratory, disseminated, or localized dermal), we compared the CTL responses in mice following intranasal (IN) infection with RSV or influenza virus or IN or intradermal (ID) infection with vaccinia virus expressing an RSV CTL antigen. The impairment was observed in the lungs after IN infection with RSV, influenza or vaccinia virus, and after a localized ID infection with vaccinia virus. In contrast, we observed a much higher percentage of IFNγ secreting CD8+ lymphocytes in the spleens of infected mice in every case. Conclusion. The decreased functionality of CD8+ CTL is specific to the lungs and is not dependent on the specific virus, viral antigen, or route of infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases