A gammaherpesvirus licenses CD8 T cells to protect the host from pneumovirus-induced immunopathologies

Mucosal Immunol. 2020 Sep;13(5):799-813. doi: 10.1038/s41385-020-0293-7. Epub 2020 May 18.


Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a pneumovirus that causes severe infections in infants worldwide. Despite intensive research, safe and effective vaccines against RSV have remained elusive. The main reason is that RSV infection of children previously immunized with formalin-inactivated-RSV vaccines has been associated with exacerbated pathology, a phenomenon called RSV vaccine-enhanced respiratory disease. In parallel, despite the high RSV prevalence, only a minor proportion of children develop severe diseases. Interestingly, variation in the immune responses against RSV or following RSV vaccination could be linked with differences of exposure to microbes during childhood. Gammaherpesviruses (γHVs), such as the Epstein-Barr virus, are persistent viruses that deeply influence the immune system of their host and could therefore affect the development of pneumovirus-induced immunopathologies for the long term. Here, we showed that a previous ɣHV infection protects against both pneumovirus vaccine-enhanced disease and pneumovirus primary infection and that CD8 T cells are essential for this protection. These observations shed a new light on the understanding of pneumovirus-induced diseases and open new perspectives for the development of vaccine strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Susceptibility*
  • Gammaherpesvirinae / immunology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Leukocytes / pathology
  • Lung / immunology
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Mice
  • Microbial Interactions
  • Pneumovirus / immunology*
  • Pneumovirus Infections / etiology*
  • Pneumovirus Infections / metabolism*
  • Pneumovirus Infections / pathology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / etiology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / metabolism
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • Vaccination
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Viral Vaccines