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Fri May 22, 2020, 01:22 PM

T cells found in coronavirus patients 'bode well' for long-term immunity.

This news item is in a recent issue of Science: T cells found in coronavirus patients ‘bode well’ for long-term immunity (Leslie, Science 22 May 2020: Vol. 368, Issue 6493, pp. 809-810)

It is, I believe, open sourced.

An excerpt:

T cells are among the immune system's most powerful weapons, but their importance for battling SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been unclear. Now, two studies show infected people harbor T cells that target the virus—and may help them recover. Both studies also found that some people never infected with SARS-CoV-2 have these cellular defenses, most likely because they were previously infected with other coronaviruses that cause the common cold.

“This is encouraging data,” says virologist Angela Rasmussen of Columbia University, who wasn't involved in the work. Although the studies don't clarify whether people who clear a SARS-CoV-2 infection can ward off the virus in the future, both identified strong T cell responses to it, which “bodes well for the development of long-term protective immunity,” Rasmussen says. The findings could also help researchers create better vaccines.

The more than 100 COVID-19 vaccines in development mainly focus on triggering a different immune response: antibodies. Researchers know our B cells make antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, which vaccine developers hope can latch onto the virus and prevent it from entering cells. But T cells can also help thwart infections. Helper T cells spur B cells and other immune defenders into action, whereas killer T cells target and destroy infected cells. The severity of disease can depend on the strength of these T cell responses.

To determine whether the new coronavirus provokes T cells, a team led by Shane Crotty and Alessandro Sette, immunologists at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, used bioinformatics tools to predict which segments of the virus' proteins should stimulate T cells most effectively. They then exposed immune cells from 10 patients who had recovered from mild cases of COVID-19 to these viral snippets...

...The results have other significant implications for vaccine design, says molecular virologist Rachel Graham of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Most vaccines under development aim to elicit an immune response against the spike protein, but the La Jolla group's study determined that T cells reacted to several viral proteins, suggesting vaccines that incite an immune response to these proteins as well could be more effective. “It is important to not just concentrate on one protein,” Graham says...


The full paper to which this news item refers is also open sourced (Pre-proof) as of this writing is here:

Targets of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in humans with COVID-19disease and unexposed individuals

Bibliographic data:

Grifoni, A., Weiskopf, D., Ramirez, S.I., Mateus, J., Dan, J.M., Moderbacher,C.R., Rawlings, S.A., Sutherland, A., Premkumar, L., Jadi, R.S., Marrama, D., de Silva, A.M., Frazier, A.,Carlin, A., Greenbaum, J.A., Peters, B., Krammer, F., Smith, D.M., Crotty, S., Sette, A., Targets of T cellresponses to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in humans with COVID-19 disease and unexposed individuals,Cell (2020), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.05.015.

This is a PDF file of an article that has undergone enhancements after acceptance, such as the additionof a cover page and metadata, and formatting for readability, but it is not yet the definitive version of record. This version will undergo additional copyediting, typesetting and review before it is published in its final form, but we are providing this version to give early visibility of the article. Please note that,during the production process, errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legaldisclaimers that apply to the journal pertain.


Pretty good news I think.

4 replies, 549 views

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Reply T cells found in coronavirus patients 'bode well' for long-term immunity. (Original post)
NNadir May 2020 OP
no_hypocrisy May 2020 #1
NNadir May 2020 #3
no_hypocrisy May 2020 #4
Fiendish Thingy May 2020 #2

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Fri May 22, 2020, 01:25 PM

1. How do you get tested for T-cells?

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #1)

Fri May 22, 2020, 04:07 PM

3. This is not designed to be a clinical test, but rather is connected with research.

This work was done in vitro, meaning it's "test tube" work, not clinical work.

There are many ways to analyze blood cells, flow cytometry various kinds of staining, and "sandwich" assays of various types, ELISA, ECL, and (now rarely used) RIA. PBMC cells, "white blood cells" can be manually separated using a particular technique using a reagent called "Ficol." There are now very sophisticated means for separation, magnetic beads, etc, and instruments, such as those made by Miltenyi Biotech.

The authors here used a technique known as "AIM," "activation induced marker," which involves activating the cell and looking for molecules produced by the cells, "markers," most often small proteins.

They activated the cells giving immunity by spiking them with peptides - fragments of the viral proteins" - and when cells were activated, this proved there is an immune response.

On a technical level, here is a paper that describes the AIM assay, a research tool: A Cytokine-Independent Approach To Identify Antigen-Specific Human Germinal Center T Follicular Helper Cells and Rare Antigen-Specific CD4+ T Cells in Blood

These kinds of tools have been around for a long time. When I was a kid I used to make RIA kits, and I'm an old man.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #3)

Fri May 22, 2020, 04:36 PM

4. Thanks. Explained well.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Fri May 22, 2020, 01:40 PM

2. Inconclusive research at this point, but hopeful. Nt

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