Thermally injured patients are very susceptible to infection with cytomegaloviruses. In this study a role of burn-associated type 2 T cell responses on the cytomegalovirus infection was examined in a mouse model of thermal injury. A predominance of type 2 T cell responses in splenic lymphocytes of thermally injured mice has been previously demonstrated. SCID mice inoculated with splenic T cells from thermally injured mice were susceptible to infection with a small amount (5 PFU/mouse) of murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV). Conversely, SCID mice inoculated with splenic T cells from normal mice were resistant to the same infection. High levels of IL-4 and IL-10, but not IFN-gamma and IL-2, were detected in sera of thermally injured mice (TI-mice) infected with MCMV when those were compared with sera of normal mice infected with MCMV. IL-4 and IL-10 (type 2 cytokines) were produced by splenic T cells from MCMV-infected TI-mice, when they were stimulated in vitro with anti-CD3 mAb. Type 1 cytokines (IFN-gamma and IL-2), however, were not produced by these T cells after the same stimulation. In contrast, splenic T cells from MCMV-infected normal mice produced type 1 cytokines by the stimulation with anti-CD3 mAb. These results suggest that the susceptibility of mice to MCMV infection is markedly influenced by burn-associated type 2 T cell responses.