Research ArticleInfectious Disease

Cytomegalovirus infection enhances the immune response to influenza

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Science Translational Medicine  01 Apr 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 281, pp. 281ra43
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa2293

CMV boosts immune response in the young

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) has long been thought of as a sleeper agent—present in a latent form in most people but dangerous when activated in immunosuppressed individuals. Now, Furman et al. look more closely at the effects of CMV infection in young, healthy people. They find that in contrast to aged individuals where CMV infection decreased response to flu vaccine, CMV infection actually enhanced the response to flu vaccine in young adults. This beneficial effect was also seen in mice. These data suggest that latent CMV infection may be beneficial to the host, and provide a possible explanation for the prevalence of CMV infection worldwide.

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