How does the immune system prevent HSV-1 from reactivating from a quiescent state in sensory neurons to cause recurrent disease?


Research Description

  • Our laboratory established that a white blood cell called a CD8+ T cell can prevent HSV-1 reactivation from latency
  • CD8+ T cells usually prevent virus replication by killing the infected cell
  • The Ocular Immunology has demonstrated that CD8+ T cells employ non-lethal approaches to deal with infected neurons that do not normally regenerate
  • This project is attempting to identify the mechanisms used by CD8+ T cells to prevent HSV-1 reactivation from latency in neurons, with the goal of enhancing these mechanisms so as to reduce the recurrent corneal infections that lead to scarring and blindness