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Published in Seminars in Immunology 16: 3 (June 2004), pp. 171–177 ; doi 10.1016/j.smim.2004.02.004 Copyright © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


Immune responses to viral infections involve a complex orchestration between innate signals and adaptive responses of specific T and B cells. Anti-viral CD4 cells can direct CD8 responses by secreting a Type 1 panel of cytokines including IFN-γ, IL-2 and TNF- α and can drive B cell production of IgG2a to neutralize infective viral particles. This review will focus specifically on the role of CD4 cells in the immune response to influenza, an acute, localized respiratory viral infection. We suggest that CD4 cells act as direct effectors in protection against influenza, may contribute to immunopathology and generate functionally distinct memory subsets.

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