Priming of Memory But Not Effector CD8 T Cells by a Killed Bacterial Vaccine

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Science  23 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5547, pp. 1735-1739
DOI: 10.1126/science.1064571

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Killed or inactivated vaccines targeting intracellular bacterial and protozoal pathogens are notoriously ineffective at generating protective immunity. For example, vaccination with heat-killed Listeria monocytogenes (HKLM) is not protective, although infection with live L. monocytogenes induces long-lived, CD8 T cell–mediated immunity. We demonstrate that HKLM immunization primes memory CD8 T lymphocyte populations that, although substantial in size, are ineffective at providing protection from subsequent L. monocytogenes infection. In contrast to live infection, which elicits large numbers of effector CD8 T cells, HKLM immunization primes T lymphocytes that do not acquire effector functions. Our studies show that it is possible to dissociate T cell–dependent protective immunity from memory T cell expansion, and that generation of effector T cells may be necessary for long-term protective immunity.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Present address: Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, 1600 East Gude Drive, Rockville, MD 20850, USA.

  • Present address: LMU München, Institut für Immunologie, Goethestrasse 31, 803360 München, Germany.

  • § To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: pamere{at}

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