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CD4(+) T-cell responses to herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) glycoprotein G are type specific and differ in symptomatic and asymptomatic HSV-2-infected individuals

Journal article
Authors Kristina Eriksson
Lars Bellner
Staffan Görander
Gun-Britt Löwhagen
Petra Tunbäck
K. Rydberg
Jan-Åke Liljeqvist
Published in J Gen Virol
Volume 85
Issue Pt 8
Pages 2139-47
ISSN 0022-1317 (Print)
Publication year 2004
Published at Institute of Selected Clinical Sciences, Department of Dermatology and Venereology
Institute of Internal Medicine, Dept of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Dept of Clinical Virology
Pages 2139-47
Language en
Keywords Adult, Aged, Antibodies, Viral/blood, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/*immunology, Cytokines/biosynthesis, Female, Herpes Genitalis/*immunology, Humans, Lymphocyte Activation, Male, Middle Aged, Viral Envelope Proteins/*immunology
Subject categories Microbiology in the medical area


T-cell recognition of the secreted and membrane-bound portions of the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) glycoprotein G (sgG-2 and mgG-2, respectively) was compared in symptomatic and asymptomatic HSV-2-infected individuals and in HSV-2-seronegative controls and the responses with HSV-1 glycoproteins C and E (gC-1 and gE-1) were compared. CD4(+) T cells from HSV-2-infected individuals specifically recognized both sgG-2 and mgG-2, whereas HSV-1-infected and HSV-seronegative controls did not respond to these glycoproteins. The responses to gC-1 and gE-1, on the other hand, were not type specific, as blood mononuclear cells from both HSV-1- and HSV-2-infected individuals responded in vitro. There was an association between the status of the infection (symptomatic versus asymptomatic) and the CD4(+) T-cell responsiveness. Symptomatic HSV-2-seropositive individuals responded with significantly lower Th1 cytokine production to sgG-2 and mgG-2 than did asymptomatic HSV-2-infected carriers, especially within the HSV-1-negative cohort. No differences in T-cell proliferation were observed between asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals. The results have implications for studies of HSV-2-specific CD4(+) T-cell reactivity in general and for analysis of immunological differences between asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals in particular.

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