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Recent advances in measuring T-cell responses to viruses have led to new insights into how these T cells respond. In the acute infection there are massive CD8+ T-cell responses to both Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Many of these T cells are effector cells and only a minority appear to be capable of maintaining immunological memory. In persistent virus infections, high levels of antigen-specific effector cells persist. If virus does not persist, the effectors fade in number but memory is maintained and is primed to react rapidly to a new challenge. A vaccine that stimulates only T-cell responses may protect when these memory cells respond rapidly enough to generate high numbers of ejectors before the infecting virus becomes established.

Original publication




Journal article


Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Publication Date





1007 - 1011