Product(s) used in this publication: PepMix™ Peptide Pools
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) imprints the immune system after primary infection, however its effect during chronic infection still needs to be deciphered. In this study we report the variation of blood cell count along with anti-HCMV IgG and T cell responses to pp-65 and IE-1 antigens, that occurred after an interval of five years in a cohort of 25 seropositive healthy adults. We found increased anti-viral IgG antibody responses and intracellular interferon-gamma secreting CD8+ T cell responses to pp-65: a result consistent with memory inflation. With the only exception of shortage in naive CD8+ T cells most memory T cell subsets as well as total CD8+ T cells, T cells, lymphocytes, monocytes and leukocytes had increased. By contrast, none of the cell types tested were found to have increased in 14 subjects stably seronegative. Rather, in addition to a shortage in naive CD8+ T cells, also memory T cell subsets and most other cell types decreased, either in a statistically significant or non-significant manner. The trend of T cell pool representation with regard to CD4/CD8 ratio was in the opposing directions depending on HCMV serology. Globally, this study demonstrates different dynamic changes of most blood cell types depending on presence or absence of HCMV infection. Therefore, HCMV plays a continual role in modulating homeostasis of blood T cells and a broader expanding effect on other cell populations of lymphoid and myeloid origin.