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Varicella zoster virus productively infects human natural killer cells and manipulates phenotype

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VZV infects human peripheral blood NK cells, CD3+CD56+ lymphocytes, and T cells.

Healthy human donor PBMCs were inoculated with mock or VZV infected ARPE-19 epithelial cells for 2 days then analysed for infection by flow cytometry. (A) Representative flow cytometry plots of mock or VZV-S infection, examining surface VZV gE:gI expression on live T cells (CD3+CD56), CD3+CD56+ lymphocytes, and NK cells (CD3CD56+). (B) Frequencies of live gE:gI+ lymphocytes in total (shaded), compared to specific populations: T cells, CD3+CD56+ lymphocytes, and NK cells (n = 19). Symbols represent individual donors consistent across lymphocyte populations, and bars indicate mean. Statistical analysis was performed between specific lymphocyte populations. **p < 0.01, ****p < 0.0001 (RM one-way ANOVA with the Greenhouse-Geisser correction and Tukey’s multiple comparisons test). (C) Representative flow cytometry plots of vOka infection, examining surface gE:gI expression on live T cells (CD3+CD56), CD3+CD56+ lymphocytes, and NK cells (CD3CD56+) (n = 3).

Fig 1

doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006999.g001