Nav: Home

SARS-CoV-2-attacking T cells found in 10 COVID-19 patients and 2 uninfected controls

June 26, 2020

Patients suffering from severe respiratory symptoms as a result of SARS-CoV-2 infection can rapidly generate virus-attacking T cells, and can increase this production over time, suggests a new study of T cells from 10 COVID-19 patients under intensive care treatment. In addition, 2 out of 10 healthy individuals without prior exposure to the virus harbored SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells, the researchers found, possibly indicating that these T cells can cross-react to the novel coronavirus due to past infection with related coronaviruses that cause common cold symptoms. Together, these new data address the poorly understood question of whether SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses vary in patients over time depending on disease severity, and helps to answer whether patients with more severe symptoms can generate protective virus-specific T cells at all. The study also provides new clues regarding the cells responsible for excessive immune responses, including life-threatening "cytokine storms," and may also help inform vaccine design. Daniela Weiskopf and colleagues extracted blood cells from 10 patients at weekly intervals starting soon after they were admitted to the ICU for COVID-19 and exposed these cells to "megapools" of known SARS-CoV-2 epitopes - a technique meant to capture a large fraction of total viral-reactive T cells. They found SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ helper T cells in all 10 patients and CD8+ "killer" T cells in 8 out of 10 patients, and characterized the cells' production of specific inflammation-triggering cytokines. The strongest T cell responses were directed to the virus' spike (S) surface glycoprotein, supporting prior work that has pointed to the S protein as a promising target to induce virus-specific T cells. Furthermore, screening all patients at 0, 7, and 14 days after inclusion in the study revealed that SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were present relatively early during the course of infection and increased in these patients over time. Using the same T cell stimulation technique in age-matched healthy controls, the researchers found SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in 2 out of the 10 individuals. Based on their findings, the authors note promising areas for future work, including an investigation of how preexisting SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in healthy controls correlate to protection against COVID-19 disease, as well as identification of T cell types responsible for cytokine storms.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Infection Articles:

Sensing infection, suppressing regeneration
UIC researchers describe an enzyme that blocks the ability of blood vessel cells to self-heal.
Boost to lung immunity following infection
The strength of the immune system in response to respiratory infections is constantly changing, depending on the history of previous, unrelated infections, according to new research from the Crick.
Is infection after surgery associated with increased long-term risk of infection, death?
Whether experiencing an infection within the first 30 days after surgery is associated with an increased risk of another infection and death within one year was the focus of this observational study that included about 660,000 veterans who underwent major surgery.
Revealed: How E. coli knows how to cause the worst possible infection
The discovery could one day let doctors prevent the infection by allowing E. coli to pass harmlessly through the body.
UK study shows most patients with suspected urinary tract infection and treated with antibiotics actually lack evidence of this infection
New research presented at this week's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Amsterdam, Netherlands (April 13-16, 2019) shows that only one third of patients that enter the emergency department with suspected urinary tract infection (UTI) actually have evidence of this infection, yet almost all are treated with antibiotics, unnecessarily driving the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.
Bacteria in urine doesn't always indicate infection
Doctors should think carefully before testing patients for a urinary tract infection (UTI) to avoid over-diagnosis and unnecessary antibiotic treatment, according to updated asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Subsidies for infection control to healthcare institutions help reduce infection levels
Researchers compared three types of infection control subsidies and found that under a limited budget, a dollar-for-dollar matching subsidy, in which policymakers match hospital spending for infection control measures, was the most effective at reducing the number of hospital-acquired infections.
Dengue virus infection may cause severe outcomes following Zika virus infection during pregnancy
This study is the first to report a possible mechanism for the enhancement of Zika virus progression during pregnancy in an animal model.
How common is Hepatitis C infection in each US state?
Hepatitis C virus infection is a major cause of illness and death in the United States and injection drug use is likely fueling many new cases.
The medicine of the future against infection and inflammation?
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden, have in collaboration with colleagues in Copenhagen and Singapore, mapped how the body's own peptides act to reduce infection and inflammation by deactivating the toxic substances formed in the process.
More Infection News and Infection Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Making Amends
What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? This hour, TED speakers explore how repairing the wrongs of the past is the first step toward healing for the future. Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler).
Now Playing: Science for the People

#566 Is Your Gut Leaking?
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website and their YouTube channel
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Flag and the Fury
How do you actually make change in the world? For 126 years, Mississippi has had the Confederate battle flag on their state flag, and they were the last state in the nation where that emblem remained "officially" flying.  A few days ago, that flag came down. A few days before that, it coming down would have seemed impossible. We dive into the story behind this de-flagging: a journey involving a clash of histories, designs, families, and even cheerleading. This show is a collaboration with OSM Audio. Kiese Laymon's memoir Heavy is here. And the Hospitality Flag webpage is here.