Generation and maintenance of immunological memory

Semin Immunol. 2004 Oct;16(5):323-33. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2004.08.013.


The key feature of the adaptive immune response is its specificity and the ability to generate and maintain memory. Preexisting antibodies in the circulation and at the mucosa provide the first line of defense against re-infection by extracellular as well as intracellular pathogens. Memory T cells are an important second line of defense against intracellular pathogens, and in particular against microbes that can cause chronic or latent infection. In this article we will review our current understanding of the generation and maintenance of B cell and T cell memory.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / blood
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Plasma Cells / cytology
  • Plasma Cells / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Virus Diseases / immunology
  • Virus Diseases / pathology


  • Antibodies