NK cells vs cytotoxic T-cells?

suaysuay at atenista.net suaysuay at atenista.net
Mon Jan 27 08:00:38 EST 2003

I'm confused about this one very basic aspect of immunity:
NK cells generally kill cells that display non-self  MHC I-peptide complexes, CD8 cells kill only cells bearing a specific non-self antigen. Given that viruses mutate, and NK cells seem to have a 'better safe than sorry' attitude, wouldn't NK cells be "better" than CD8 cells in clearing up an infection? Why is it that in some viral infections, NK cells are only good for controlling the infections but CD8 cells are needed to finish the job?


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