EBV specific killer T cells and serologic responses after onset of infectious mononucleosis

E. Svedmyr, M. Jondal, W. Henle, O. Weiland, L. Rombo, G. Klein

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9 Scopus citations


Peripheral lymphocytes from 65 patients suspected of having infectious mononucleosis (IM) were tested for cytotoxic activity EBV genome-positive (Kaplan line) and EBV genome-negative cells (K-562 line). EBV-specific serodiagnostic tests proved primary viral infections in 57 of the patients. Specific cytotoxicity for Kaplan cells was noted in 40 of these cases provided the Fc/C3 receptor-positive cell fraction, responsible for non-selective reactivity, had been removed. In eight patients remaining non-selectively cytotoxic cells probably obscured specific T cell activity, and in nine there was no significant cytotoxicity. Eight patients with serologic evidence of long past rather than current primary EBV infections showed no cytotoxicity. Of the 40 IM patients with cytotoxic activity specific for Kaplan cells, 16 were tested repeatedly. The cytotoxicity and percentages of blast cells were high during the first 2-4 weeks after onset of illness but then declined rapidly in parallel to low or non-detectable levels within 4-6 weeks. IgM antibodies to EB viral capsid antigen remained measurable for longer, whereas antibodies to EBV-associated nuclear antigen became detectable only after the specific cytotoxic activity had reached low levels. The specificity of the cytotoxicity assay was somewhat increased by use of the sheep erythrocyte-binding T cell fraction seperated from the Fc/C3 receptor-negative cell population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical and Laboratory Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1978


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