Herpesvirus infections rarely cause significant problems in the immunocompetent human host. However, in the immunosuppressed, for example, recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) (Rooney et al., 1998), solid organ transplants (SOT), or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals, viral infections/reactivations are common and are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. The resultant uncontrolled infections correlate with a lack of cellular immunity against viral antigens (Weinberg et al., 2001). While effective antiviral drugs are available for the treatment of some herpesvirus infections, adoptive immunotherapy, which is the artificial reconstitution of virus-specific T-cells with in vitro expanded cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs), for the prophylaxis and/or treatment of herpesviruses is an attractive option. The γ-herpesvirus, Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is also associated with a heterogeneous range of malignancies and diseases that occur in apparently immunocompetent individuals and since these malignancies also express “foreign” viral antigenic targets they may also be good candidates for immunotherapy (Rickinson and Kieff, 2001). The advances in such adopt ive immunotherapeutic approaches will be discussed in this chapter.
Therapy for herpesvirus-related infections and diseases
Infectious complications relating to herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella zoster virus (VZV) (Asanuma et al., 2000), Kaposi's sarcoma virus (KSV) (Wang et al., 2000), human herpesvirus (HHV)-6, -7 (Clark, 2002; Clark et al., 2003; Clark and Griffiths, 2003), cytomegalovirus (CMV) (Michaelides et al., 2002) and EBV (Heslop et al., 1994) are common in immunocompromised individuals.