Confronting complexity: real-world immunodominance in antiviral CD8+ T cell responses

Immunity. 2006 Oct;25(4):533-43. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2006.09.005.


Antiviral CD8(+) T cells respond to only a minute fraction of the potential peptide determinants encoded by viral genomes. Immunogenic determinants can be ordered into highly reproducible hierarchies based on the magnitude of cognate CD8(+) T cell responses. Until recently, this phenomenon, termed immunodominance, was largely defined and characterized in model systems utilizing a few strains of inbred mice infected with a handful of viruses with limited coding capacity. Here, I review work that has extended immunodominance studies to viruses of greater complexity and to the real world of human antiviral immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / genetics
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / genetics
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Virus Diseases / immunology*
  • Viruses / genetics
  • Viruses / immunology*


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Immunodominant Epitopes