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Good news: T cells provide long-term protection against Covid. New studies suggest.

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The SARS-CoV-2 specific memory T cells are likely to be critical for long-term immune protection against COVID-19. We systematically mapped the functional and phenotypic landscape of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses in a large cohort of unexposed individuals, as well as exposed family members and individuals with acute or convalescent COVID-19.

SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in acute phase show a highly activated cytotoxic phenotype that correlated with several clinical markers of disease severity, while SARS-CoValunctional-specific T cells were convaluncient and exhibited a phenotype. stem-like memory.

Importantly, SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detectable in antibody seronegative family members and in people with a history of mild or asymptomatic COVID-19. Our collective dataset shows that SARS-CoV-2 elicits robust memory T cell responses similar to those seen in the context of successful vaccines, suggesting that natural exposure to infection may prevent recurrent COVID-19 episodes. severe also in seronegative individuals.

Source: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.29.174888v1

“This is very promising,” says Smita Iyer, an immunologist at the University of California at Davis. “This requires some sober optimism about herd immunity and potentially a vaccine.”

For a long time it was thought that antibodies protected against re-infection, but the first study to use solid real-world evidence was published last week by researchers at the University of Washington.

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