We have shown in a murine model system for cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease in the immunocompromised host that in vivo application of recombinant human IL-2 (rhIL-2) can enhance the antiviral effect of a limited number of CD8+T lymphocytes, not only in prophylaxis, but also in therapy, when virus has already colonized host tissues. The observed net effect of IL-2 was consistent with the assumption of daily effector population doublings. The prospects for IL-2-supported immunotherapy of established CMV infection depend upon the tissues involved in disease. It appears that the prospects for controlling established CMV adrenalitis are less promising than for a therapy of interstitial CMV pneumonia.

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