T and NK cells collaborate to control viral infections, discerning minute differences between infected and uninfected cells. At the same time, viruses have evolved to escape this discovery. In this issue of the JCI, Ganem and colleagues show that Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV) inhibits CD1d presentation to T cells. This novel immune evasion strategy highlights the importance of CD1d-restricted T cells in controlling viral infection and raises an interesting question: how do T cells recognize viruses in the context of CD1 molecules that bind lipids? In the case of herpesviruses, alterations in endosomal trafficking might trigger redistribution of CD1/lipid complexes to cell surfaces, thereby promoting recognition by CD1d-restricted T cells.
Nagendra R. Hegde, David C. Johnson