© 2014 Min-Oo et al. Natural killer (NK) cells play a key role in the host response to cytomegalovirus (CMV) and can mediate an enhanced response to secondary challenge with CMV. We assessed the ability of mouse CMV (MCMV)-induced memory Ly49H+ NK cells to respond to challenges with influenza, an acute viral infection localized to the lung, and Listeria monocytogenes, a systemic bacterial infection. MCMV-memory NK cells did not display enhanced activation or proliferation after infection with influenza or Listeria, as compared with naive Ly49H+ or Ly49H- NK cells. Memory NK cells also showed impaired activation compared with naive cells when challenged with a mutant MCMV lacking m157, highlighting their antigen-specific response. Ex vivo, MCMVmemory NK cells displayed reduced phosphorylation of STAT4 and STAT1 in response to stimulation by IL-12 and type I interferon (IFN), respectively, and IFN-γ production was reduced in response to IL-12 + IL-18 compared with naive NK cells. However, costimulation of MCMVmemory NK cells with IL-12 and m157 antigen rescues their impaired response compared with cytokines alone. These findings reveal that MCMV-primed memory NK cells are diminished in their response to cytokine-driven bystander responses to heterologous infections as they become specialized and antigen-specific for the control of MCMV upon rechallenge.