Robust SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell immunity is maintained at 6 months following primary infection [article]

Jianmin Zuo, Alex Dowell, Hayden Pearce, Kriti Verma, Heather Long, Jusnara Begum, Felicity Aiano, Zahin Amin-Chowdhury, Bassam Hallis, Lorrain Stapley, Ray Borrow, Ezra Linley (+8 others)
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
The immune response to SARS-CoV-2 is critical in both controlling primary infection and preventing re-infection. However, there is concern that immune responses following natural infection may not be sustained and that this may predispose to recurrent infection. We analysed the magnitude and phenotype of the SARS-CoV-2 cellular immune response in 100 donors at six months following primary infection and related this to the profile of antibody level against spike, nucleoprotein and RBD over the
more » ... and RBD over the previous six months. T-cell immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 were present by ELISPOT or ICS analysis in all donors and are characterised by predominant CD4+ T cell responses with strong IL-2 cytokine expression. Median T-cell responses were 50% higher in donors who had experienced an initial symptomatic infection indicating that the severity of primary infection establishes a set-point for cellular immunity that lasts for at least 6 months. The T-cell responses to both spike and nucleoprotein/membrane proteins were strongly correlated with the peak antibody level against each protein. The rate of decline in antibody level varied between individuals and higher levels of nucleoprotein-specific T cells were associated with preservation of NP-specific antibody level although no such correlation was observed in relation to spike-specific responses. In conclusion, our data are reassuring that functional SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses are retained at six months following infection although the magnitude of this response is related to the clinical features of primary infection.
doi:10.1101/2020.11.01.362319 fatcat:exezygfkcfcxfczpkrbkszjs2y