Animal and human studies have demonstrated the importance of influenza A virus (IAV)-specific CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in heterosubtypic cross-protective immunity. Using peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained intermittently from healthy HLA-typed blood donors between 1999 and 2012, we were able to demonstrate that IAV-specific CTLs are long-lived. Intercurrent IAV infections transiently increase the frequency of functionally distinct subsets of IAV-specific CTLs, in particular effector and effector memory T cells.
Keywords: CD8+ T cells; human; immunity; influenza A virus; longevity.
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