Research ArticleINFECTIOUS DISEASE

Sustained T follicular helper cell response is essential for control of chronic viral infection

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Science Immunology  01 Dec 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 18, eaam8686
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aam8686

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Clearing chronic viral infections

Although chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection in mice persists for several months and is accompanied by exhaustion of CD8+ T cells, eventually the infection is controlled in most cases. Here, Greczmiel et al. have examined how these chronically infected mice clear LCMV. By developing mouse models to selectively deplete CD4+ T follicular helper cells (TFH), the authors found these TFH cells to be vital for the generation of neutralizing antiviral antibodies that promote viral clearance. The study underscores the importance of TFH cells in driving B cell responses in the context of CD8+ T cell exhaustion.