What is the role of cell-mediated immunity in the control of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection?

Updated: Jul 07, 2021
  • Author: Ricardo Cedeno-Mendoza, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Cell-mediated immunity is considered the most important factor in controlling CMV infection. Patients deficient in cell-mediated immunity are at greatest risk for CMV disease. CMV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes play an important role in immune protection after primary infection or reactivation of latent disease. Studies of bone marrow transplant recipients have revealed that those who do not develop CMV-specific CD4+ or CD8+ cells are at higher risk for CMV pneumonitis. Additionally, no cases of CMV pneumonia have been reported in allogeneic marrow transplant recipients receiving infusions of CMV-specific CD8+ cells. [14]


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