Antigen-specific CD8+ T cells play an important role in virus clearance. Here we review the current understanding of influenza virus-specific CD8+ T cell immunity in experimental mouse models and humans. The characteristics and nature of CD8+ T cell killing are discussed, as is the selection and maintenance of the influenza-specific effector and memory repertoires. Consideration is given to vaccine strategies and to the effects of ageing. Understanding the complexities of CD8+ T cell mediated immunity and memory has the potential for improving vaccine design, particularly to combat pandemics caused by newly emerging influenza viruses.
- CD8+ T cells
- TCR repertoire