DataSheet_1_Long-Term, CD4+ Memory T Cell Response to SARS-CoV-2.docx (10.62 MB)
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DataSheet_1_Long-Term, CD4+ Memory T Cell Response to SARS-CoV-2.docx

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posted on 20.04.2022, 04:23 authored by Sebastian Wirsching, Laura Harder, Markus Heymanns, Britta Gröndahl, Katja Hilbert, Frank Kowalzik, Claudius Meyer, Stephan Gehring

The first cases of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) were reported by Chinese authorities at the end of 2019. The disease spread quickly and was declared a global pandemic shortly thereafter. To respond effectively to infection and prevent viral spread, it is important to delineate the factors that affect protective immunity. Herein, a cohort of convalescent healthcare workers was recruited and their immune responses were studied over a period of 3 to 9 months following the onset of symptoms. A cross-reactive T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 and endemic coronaviruses, i.e., OC43 and NL63, was demonstrated in the infected, convalescent cohort, as well as a cohort composed of unexposed individuals. The convalescent cohort, however, displayed an increased number of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cells relative to the unexposed group. Moreover, unlike humoral immunity and quickly decreasing antibody titers, T cell immunity in convalescent individuals was maintained and stable throughout the study period. This study also suggests that, based on the higher CD4 T cell memory response against nucleocapsid antigen, future vaccine designs may include nucleocapsid as an additional antigen along with the spike protein.