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Magnitude of venous or capillary blood-derived SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell response determines COVID-19 immunity

Scurr, Martin J. ORCID:, Lippiatt, George, Capitani, Lorenzo, Bentley, Kirsten ORCID:, Lauder, Sarah N., Smart, Kathryn, Somerville, Michelle S., Rees, Tara, Stanton, Richard J. ORCID:, Gallimore, Awen ORCID:, Hindley, James P. and Godkin, Andrew ORCID: 2022. Magnitude of venous or capillary blood-derived SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell response determines COVID-19 immunity. Nature Communications 13 , 5422. 10.1038/s41467-022-32985-8

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T cells specific for SARS-CoV-2 are thought to protect against infection and development of COVID-19, but direct evidence for this is lacking. Here, we associated whole-blood-based measurement of SARS-CoV-2-specific interferon-γ-positive T cell responses with positive COVID-19 diagnostic (PCR and/or lateral flow) test results up to 6 months post-blood sampling. Amongst 148 participants donating venous blood samples, SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell response magnitude is significantly greater in those who remain protected versus those who become infected (P < 0.0001); relatively low magnitude T cell response results in a 43.2% risk of infection, whereas high magnitude reduces this risk to 5.4%. These findings are recapitulated in a further 299 participants testing a scalable capillary blood-based assay that could facilitate the acquisition of population-scale T cell immunity data (14.9% and 4.4%, respectively). Hence, measurement of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells can prognosticate infection risk and should be assessed when monitoring individual and population immunity status.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 2041-1723
Funders: MRC, Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 September 2022
Date of Acceptance: 25 August 2022
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 19:06

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