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Cross-reactive CD4(+) T cells enhance SARS-CoV-2 immune responses upon infection and vaccination

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Item Type:Article
Title:Cross-reactive CD4(+) T cells enhance SARS-CoV-2 immune responses upon infection and vaccination
Creators Name:Loyal, L. and Braun, J. and Henze, L. and Kruse, B. and Dingeldey, M. and Reimer, U. and Kern, F. and Schwarz, T. and Mangold, M. and Unger, C. and Dörfler, F. and Kadler, S. and Rosowski, J. and Gürcan, K. and Uyar-Aydin, Z. and Frentsch, M. and Kurth, F. and Schnatbaum, K. and Eckey, M. and Hippenstiel, S. and Hocke, A. and Müller, M.A. and Sawitzki, B. and Miltenyi, S. and Paul, F. and Mall, M.A. and Wenschuh, H. and Voigt, S. and Drosten, C. and Lauster, R. and Lachman, N. and Sander, L.E. and Corman, V.M. and Röhmel, J. and Meyer-Arndt, L. and Thiel, A. and Giesecke-Thiel, C.
Abstract:The functional relevance of pre-existing cross-immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is a subject of intense debate. Here, we show that human endemic coronavirus (HCoV)-reactive and SARS-CoV-2-cross-reactive CD4(+) T cells are ubiquitous but decrease with age. We identified a universal immunodominant coronavirus-specific spike peptide (S816-830) and demonstrate that pre-existing spike- and S816-830-reactive T cells were recruited into immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and their frequency correlated with anti-SARS-CoV-2-S1-IgG antibodies. Spike-cross-reactive T cells were also activated after primary BNT162b2 COVID-19 mRNA vaccination displaying kinetics similar to secondary immune responses. Our results highlight the functional contribution of pre-existing spike-cross-reactive T cells in SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination. Cross-reactive immunity may account for the unexpectedly rapid induction of immunity following primary SARS-CoV-2 immunization and the high rate of asymptomatic/mild COVID-19 disease courses.
Keywords:Age Factors, Asymptomatic Diseases, CD3 Complex, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccines, Coronavirus Spike Glycoprotein, Cross Reactions, Immunity, Immunodominant Epitopes, Open Reading Frames, Peptide Fragments, SARS-CoV-2, Vaccination
Source:Science
ISSN:0036-8075
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
Volume:374
Number:6564
Page Range:eabh1823
Date:8 October 2021
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abh1823
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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