Journal article

Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 generates T-cell memory in the absence of a detectable viral infection

Zhongfang Wang, Xiaoyun Yang, Jiaying Zhong, Yumin Zhou, Zhiqiang Tang, Haibo Zhou, Jun He, Xinyue Mei, Yonghong Tang, Bijia Lin, Zhenjun Chen, James McCluskey, Ji Yang, Alexandra J Corbett, Pixin Ran

NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | NATURE PORTFOLIO | Published : 2021

Abstract

T-cell immunity is important for recovery from COVID-19 and provides heightened immunity for re-infection. However, little is known about the SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell immunity in virus-exposed individuals. Here we report virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell memory in recovered COVID-19 patients and close contacts. We also demonstrate the size and quality of the memory T-cell pool of COVID-19 patients are larger and better than those of close contacts. However, the proliferation capacity, size and quality of T-cell responses in close contacts are readily distinguishable from healthy donors, suggesting close contacts are able to gain T-cell immunity against SARS-CoV-2 despite lacking a detect..

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Grants

Awarded by National Key Basic Research Project


Awarded by NSFC


Awarded by Guangdong Key Basic Research Project


Awarded by Guangdong Key Research and Development Project


Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Key Basic Research Project (2019YFC0810900), Ministry of Science and Technology of P.R. China, and NSFC 81971485, Guangdong Key Basic Research Project 2019B1515120068, Guangdong Key Research and Development Project 2020B1111330001.