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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.


Journal article


Nat Med

Publication Date





906 - 911


Acute Disease, Amino Acid Sequence, Base Sequence, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Clone Cells, DNA, Herpesvirus 4, Human, Humans, Infectious Mononucleosis, Molecular Sequence Data, Phenotype, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta