Decidual-tissue-resident memory T cells protect against nonprimary human cytomegalovirus infection at the maternal-fetal interface

Or Alfi, Mevaseret Cohen, Shikma Bar-On, Tamar Hashimshony, Lorinne Levitt, Yael Raz, Yair Blecher, M. Zeeshan Chaudhry, Luka Cicin-Sain, Rina Ben-El, Esther Oiknine-Djian, Tamar Lahav, Olesya Vorontsov, Adiel Cohen, Zichria Zakay-Rones, Leonor Daniel, Michael Berger, Yael Mandel-Gutfreund, Amos Panet, Dana G. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) is the most common intrauterine infection, leading to infant neurodevelopmental disabilities. An improved knowledge of correlates of protection against cCMV is needed to guide prevention strategies. Here, we employ an ex vivo model of human CMV (HCMV) infection in decidual tissues of women with and without preconception immunity against CMV, recapitulating nonprimary vs. primary infection at the authentic maternofetal transmission site. We show that decidual tissues of women with preconception immunity against CMV exhibit intrinsic resistance to HCMV, mounting a rapid activation of tissue-resident memory CD8+ and CD4+ T cells upon HCMV reinfection. We further reveal the role of HCMV-specific decidual-tissue-resident CD8+ T cells in local protection against nonprimary HCMV infection. The findings could inform the development of a vaccine against cCMV and provide insights for further studies of the integrity of immune defense against HCMV and other pathogens at the human maternal-fetal interface.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number113698
JournalCell Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - 27 Feb 2024


  • CP: Immunology
  • congenital CMV infection
  • decidual T cells
  • decidual tissues
  • ex vivo organ culture
  • human cytomegalovirus
  • maternal CMV infection
  • maternal-fetal interface
  • nonprimary CMV infection
  • placenta
  • tissue-resident T cells

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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