Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The viruses HIV-1, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are characterized by the establishment of lifelong infection in the human host, where their replication is thought to be tightly controlled by virus-specific CD8+ T cells. Here we present detailed studies of the differentiation phenotype of these cells, which can be separated into three distinct subsets based on expression of the costimulatory receptors CD28 and CD27. Whereas CD8+ T cells specific for HIV, EBV and HCV exhibit similar characteristics during primary infection, there are significant enrichments at different stages of cellular differentiation in the chronic phase of persistent infection according to the viral specificity, which suggests that distinct memory T-cell populations are established in different virus infections. These findings challenge the current definitions of memory and effector subsets in humans, and suggest that ascribing effector and memory functions to subsets with different differentiation phenotypes is no longer appropriate.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Med

Publication Date





379 - 385


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, CD28 Antigens, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cell Differentiation, Child, Child, Preschool, Cytomegalovirus Infections, Cytotoxins, Epstein-Barr Virus Infections, HIV Infections, HIV-1, Hepatitis C, Chronic, Humans, Immunologic Memory, Leukocyte Common Antigens, Middle Aged, Phenotype, Receptors, CCR7, Receptors, Chemokine, T-Lymphocyte Subsets, Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7, Virus Diseases