Date: June 08, 2021
Time: 8:00am PDT, 11:00am EDT, 5:00pm CEST
COVID-19 displays high clinical variability, but what determines its severity is unclear. Analysis of antigen-specific T cell responses has contributed to our understanding of the induced immune reaction, and is important in characterizing and potentially predicting the success of vaccination and clinical outcome. Pre-existing T cell memory generated by frequent infections with the related “common cold” Coronavirus (CCCoV) has been hypothesized as a protective mechanism. Prof. Scheffold and his colleagues used a sensitive technology to characterize antigen-reactive T cells directly ex vivo, in combination with closed-system cell sorting on the MACSQuant® Tyto® to enrich and purify antigen-reactive T cells. They were able to characterize SARS-CoV-2‒ and CCCoV-specific T cells from healthy donors and COVID-19 patients using single cell gene expression profiling. Moreover, multiparameter flow cytometry, TCR avidity, and cross-reactivity measurements were used to further deepen the characterization of these cells. The data suggest that pre-existing SARS-CoV-2‒specific memory is not only not protective, but may in fact contribute to the development of severe COVID-19.
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