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The efficacies of many new T cell vaccines rely on generating large populations of long-lived pathogen-specific effector memory CD8 T cells. However, it is now increasingly recognized that prior infection history impacts on the host immune response. Additionally, the order in which these infections are acquired could have a major effect. Exploiting the ability to generate large sustained effector memory (i.e. inflationary) T cell populations from murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) and human Adenovirus-subtype (AdHu5) 5-beta-galactosidase (Ad-lacZ) vector, the impact of new infections on pre-existing memory and the capacity of the host's memory compartment to accommodate multiple inflationary populations from unrelated pathogens was investigated in a murine model. Simultaneous and sequential infections, first with MCMV followed by Ad-lacZ, generated inflationary populations towards both viruses with similar kinetics and magnitude to mono-infected groups. However, in Ad-lacZ immune mice, subsequent acute MCMV infection led to a rapid decline of the pre-existing Ad-LacZ-specific inflating population, associated with bystander activation of Fas-dependent apoptotic pathways. However, responses were maintained long-term and boosting with Ad-lacZ led to rapid re-expansion of the inflating population. These data indicate firstly that multiple specificities of inflating memory cells can be acquired at different times and stably co-exist. Some acute infections may also deplete pre-existing memory populations, thus revealing the importance of the order of infection acquisition. Importantly, immunization with an AdHu5 vector did not alter the size of the pre-existing memory. These phenomena are relevant to the development of adenoviral vectors as novel vaccination strategies for diverse infections and cancers. (241 words).

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS Pathog

Publication Date





Adenovirus Infections, Human, Adenoviruses, Human, Animals, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Coinfection, Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte, Herpesviridae Infections, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Humans, Immunologic Memory, Lac Operon, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Models, Immunological, Muromegalovirus, Receptors, Interleukin-18, Viral Vaccines