Cytomegalovirus as an immunomodulator across the lifespan.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a nearly ubiquitous β-herpesvirus that establishes latent infection in the majority of the world's population. HCMV infection profoundly influences the host immune system and, perhaps more than any other human pathogen, has been shown to create a lasting imprint on human T and NK cell compartments. HCMV-seropositivity has been associated with both beneficial effects, such as increased vaccine responsiveness or heterologous protection against infections, and deleterious effects, such as pathological neurodevelopmental sequelae from congenital infection in utero and cumulative damage from chronic lifelong latency into old age. The significance of many of these associations is unclear, as studies into the causal mechanisms linking HCMV and these disease outcomes are lacking; however, HCMV-mediated changes to the immune system may play a key role. This review examines how HCMV impacts the host immune system in an age-dependent manner with important implications for human immunophenotypes and long-term disease risk.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Semmes, EC; Hurst, JH; Walsh, KM; Permar, SR

Published Date

  • October 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 44 /

Start / End Page

  • 112 - 120

PubMed ID

  • 32818717

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7755826

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-6265

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.coviro.2020.07.013


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands