Diseases Caused by Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes

CTL responses to viral infection can lead to tissue injury by killing infected cells, even if the virus itself has no cytopathic effects. The principal physiologic function of CTLs is to eliminate intracellular microbes, primarily viruses, by killing infected cells. Some viruses directly injure infected cells and are said to be cytopathic, whereas others are not. Because CTLs may not be able to distinguish between cytopathic and noncytopathic viruses, they kill virally infected cells regardless of whether the infection itself is harmful to the host. Examples of viral infections in which the lesions are due to the host CTL

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