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In this Opinion piece, I argue that the dynamics of viruses and the cellular immune response depend on the body size of the host. I use allometric scaling theory to interpret observed quantitative differences in the infection dynamics of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) in mice (Mus musculus), simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in humans. There are indications that viral replication and the proliferation of CD8+ T cell responses are slower in larger animals. Whether this influences the ability of the cellular immune responses to eradicate viruses during the acute phase of an infection remains unclear, however.
This is a revised version of a manuscript that was submitted as an Opinion piece to Frontiers in Microbiology on 19th March 2015.