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γ-herpesvirus latency attenuates Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in mice. Tuberculosis (Edinb) 2019 05;116:56-60



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85065133940   1 Citation


Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), a bacterial pathogen which is transmitted via aerosol and establishes a chronic lung infection. In naïve hosts, Mtb grows for several weeks without being restricted by IFNγ-producing T cells, which eventually accumulate and limit Mtb dissemination. In this study, we used a mouse model of Mtb/γ-herpesvirus (γHV) coinfection to test the hypothesis that latent γHV infection alters host resistance to Mtb. γHVs are DNA viruses which elicit a polyclonal T cell response and attenuate some acute bacterial pathogens in mice; whether γHVs modulate infection with Mtb is unknown. Here, mice harboring latent mouse gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68)-a γHV genetically and biologically related to human Epstein Barr virus (EBV)-were infected via aerosol with a low dose of virulent Mtb. Mtb burdens and IFNγ+ T cell frequencies in mice with latent MHV68 (MHV68POS mice) were subsequently measured and compared to control mice that did not harbor latent MHV68 (MHV68NEG mice). Relative to MHV68NEG controls, MHV68POS mice more effectively limited Mtb growth and dissemination, and had higher frequencies of CD4+IFNγ+ cells in lung-draining lymph nodes. Collectively, our results support a model wherein latent γHV confers moderate protection against subsequent Mtb infection.

Author List

Miller HE, Johnson KE, Tarakanova VL, Robinson RT


Vera Tarakanova PhD Associate Professor in the Microbiology and Immunology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
Disease Models, Animal
Herpesviridae Infections
Host-Pathogen Interactions
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Time Factors
Virus Latency
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a