Large clonal expansions of CD8+ T cells in acute infectious mononucleosis

Nat Med. 1996 Aug;2(8):906-11. doi: 10.1038/nm0896-906.


Primary infection with Epstein-Barr virus often results in the clinical syndrome of acute infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever). This illness is characterized by a striking lymphocytosis, the nature of which has been controversial. We show that large monoclonal or oligoclonal populations of CD8+ T cells account for a significant proportion of the lymphocytosis and provide molecular evidence that these populations have been driven by antigen. The results suggest that the selective and massive expansion of a few dominant clones of CD8+ T cells is an important feature of the primary response to this virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Clone Cells
  • DNA
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology
  • Humans
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / immunology*
  • Infectious Mononucleosis / virology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / immunology


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • DNA