No one is naive: the significance of heterologous T-cell immunity

Nat Rev Immunol. 2002 Jun;2(6):417-26. doi: 10.1038/nri820.


Memory T cells that are specific for one virus can become activated during infection with an unrelated heterologous virus, and might have roles in protective immunity and immunopathology. The course of each infection is influenced by the T-cell memory pool that has been laid down by a host's history of previous infections, and with each successive infection, T-cell memory to previously encountered agents is modified. Here, we discuss evidence from studies in mice and humans that shows the importance of this phenomenon in determining the outcome of infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / immunology
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Lung / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Models, Immunological
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Virus Diseases / immunology
  • Viruses / immunology


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell