Comparative magnitude and kinetics of human cytomegalovirus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses in pregnant women with primary versus remote infection and in transmitting versus non-transmitting mothers: Its utility for dating primary infection in pregnancy

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Abstract

To discriminate between primary (PI) and remote (RI) human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection, several immunological parameters were monitored for a 2-year period in 53 pregnant women with PI, and 33 pregnant women experiencing HCMV PI at least 5 years prior. Cytokine (IFN-γ and IL-2) production by and phenotype (effector/memory CD45RA+) of HCMV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells as well as the lymphoproliferative responses (LPR) were evaluated, with special reference to the comparison between a group of women transmitting (T) and a group of non-transmitting (NT) the infection to fetus. While HCMV-specific CD4+ T-cells reached at 90 days post-infection (p.i.) values comparable to RI, CD8+ T-cells reached at 60 days p.i. levels significantly higher and persisting throughout the entire follow-up. Instead, IL-2 production and lymphoproliferative responses were lower in PI than RI for the entire follow-up period. Effector memory CD45RA+ CD4+ and CD8+ HCMV-specific T-cells increased until 90 days p.i., reaching and maintaining levels higher than RI. The comparison between T and NT women showed that, at 30 days p.i., in NT women there was a significantly higher IL-2 production by HCMV-specific CD4+ T-cells, and at 60 days p.i. a significantly higher frequency of both specific CD4+ and CD8+ CD45RA+ T-cells. HCMV T-cell response appears to correlate with virus transmission to fetus and some parameters (CD4+ lymphoproliferation, and frequency of HCMV-specific CD8+ IL2+ T-cells) may help in dating PI during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016

Keywords

  • Human cytomegalovirus
  • Pregnancy
  • Primary infection
  • T-cell response
  • Vertical transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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