Image_1_The Quality of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 T Cell Responses Predicts the Neutralizing Antibody Titer in Convalescent Plasma Donors.tif (1.45 MB)
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Image_1_The Quality of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 T Cell Responses Predicts the Neutralizing Antibody Titer in Convalescent Plasma Donors.tif

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posted on 16.03.2022, 04:08 authored by Marie Kroemer, Laura Boullerot, Mélanie Ramseyer, Laurie Spehner, Christophe Barisien, Eleonore Gravelin, Adeline Renaudin, Fabrice Cognasse, Pierre Gallian, Olivier Hermine, Karine Lacombe, Pierre Tiberghien, Olivier Adotévi

Convalescent plasma therapy has been described as an attractive approach to treat critically ill patients with COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019). The selection of convalescent plasma donors (CPD) is commonly based on neutralizing antibody titer. A better understanding of the quality of immune responses following COVID-19 will enable the optimization of convalescent donors' selection in convalescent plasma programs. The involvement of SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells in the induction and persistence of high affinity anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody is still poorly investigated. In this study, 115 CPD who presented SARS-CoV-2 and who were eligible for plasma donation were included. Comprehensive analysis of T cells together with humoral responses were performed in regards of sex, age and blood group type. High frequency of T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2 related protein such as spike glycoprotein (80.0%), nucleocapsid (NCAP) (70.4%) and membrane protein (VME1) (74.8%) were detected in CPD by ex vivo IFN-γ and TNF-α ELISpot assays. Among CPD responders, most exhibited poly-specific T cell responses (75%) defined by the ability to mount responses against at least two SARS-CoV-2 antigens. We found a positive correlation between the magnitude and the poly-specificity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 T cell responses in CPD. Notably, both the magnitude and poly-specificity of SARS-CoV-2 T cell responses were highly correlated with neutralizing antibody titer in CPD. The present study highlights that the poly-specificity and strength of SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell responses predicts neutralizing antibody titer following COVID-19. These observations show the interest to combine T cell assays and antibody titer for the selection of CPD and to a latter extend to assess COVID-19 vaccine efficacy in at-risk patients.

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