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Tc is T cell which can give T killer cells and T helper cells. T helper cells (Th1) see the pathogen presented by antigen presenting cells (dendritic cells and macrophages). They then secrete antigens to kill the pathogen. If there is memory from previous interaction, then it will be easier to protect. However, since some viruses replicate fast (RNA particularly), this memory benefit is often lost, like in the case of influenza virus A and B types. However, I am uncertain how to explain this immunology with viruses.

How can you explain this general viral interaction better in the immune response?

I have these pictures in mind:

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I actually don't understand your text. Can you clarify that? – Chris May 16 '14 at 20:16
I think you have most of the key elements. With a virus, a virally infected cell may present virus antigen on MHC Class I or II and activate T-cells. The rest looks fine, with "dendritic cells" considered the 'professional' antigen presenting cell that present antigen on their surface, migrate from skin/mucosa to secondary lymphoid organs like lymph nodes/spleen/GALT and drive T and B cell activation and maturation. Depending on the source, a 2nd exposure may not need to an Innate first step. Killer T-cells is a catch-all...cytotoxic T-cells may kill cells bearing virus but (cont'd) – PlaysDice May 16 '14 at 22:45
its thought that natural killer (NK) cells (lymphoid lineage but lacking T cell receptor) might provide some immunity to nemotodes etc. So your diagram mileage may vary based on pathogen. A good immunology textbook should show the differences. – PlaysDice May 16 '14 at 22:48
up vote 1 down vote accepted

PlaysDice's answer:

Antigen presenting cells migrate from skin/mucosa to secondary lymphoid organs like lymph nodes/spleen/GALT and drive T cell activation and maturation. T helper cells with CD8 and MHCII complex recognise the virus and kill it.

I think this is what is happening, for instance in HIV infection:

enter image description here


  • dendritic cell (ADCC) presentation of HIV infected CD4+ to MHCII and T helper cell
  • T helper cell activates cytokine release
  • Natural killer cells come and lyse the HIV infected CD4+ T lymphocyte
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