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Longitudinal Analysis of Human Memory T-Cell Response According to the Severity of Illness up to 8 Months After Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection

Cited 24 time in Web of Science Cited 30 time in Scopus

Kang, Chang Kyung; Kim, Minji; Lee, Soojin; Kim, Gwanghun; Choe, Pyoeng Gyun; Park, Wan Beom; Kim, Nam Joong; Lee, Chang-Han; Kim, Ik Soo; Jung, Keehoon; Lee, Dong-Sup; Shin, Hyun Mu; Kim, Hang-Rae; Oh, Myoung-don

Issue Date
University of Chicago Press
Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol.224 No.1, pp.39-48
Background. Understanding the memory T-cell response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is crucial for assessing the longevity of protective immunity after SARS-CoV-2 infection or coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination. However, the longitudinal memory T-cell response up to 8 months post-symptom onset (PSO) according to the severity of illness is unknown. Methods. We analyzed peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy volunteers or patients with COVID-19 who experienced asymptomatic, mild, or severe illness at 2, 5, and 8 months PSO. SARS-CoV-2 spike, nucleocapsid, and membrane protein-stimulated PBMCs were subjected to flow cytometry analysis. Results. A total of 24 patients (7 asymptomatic, 9 with mild disease, and 8 with severe disease) and 6 healthy volunteers were analyzed. SARS-CoV-2-specific OX40(+)CD137(+)CD4(+) T cells and CD69(+)CD137(+)CD8(+) T cells persisted at 8 months PSO. Also, antigen-specific cytokine- producing or polyfunctional CD4(+) T cells were maintained for up to 8 months PSO. Memory CD4(+) T-cell responses tended to be greater in patients who had severe illness than in those with mild or asymptomatic disease. Conclusions. Memory response to SARS-CoV-2, based on the frequency and functionality, persists for 8 months PSO. Further investigations involving its longevity and protective effect from reinfection are warranted.
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  • College of Medicine
  • Department of Medicine
Research Area Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Vaccination, 감염병, 바이러스질환, 예방접종


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