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Title: Highly functional virus-specific cellular immune response in asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection
Authors: Le Bert, Nina 
Clapham, Hannah E 
Tan, Anthony T 
Chia, Wan Ni 
Tham, Christine YL
Lim, Jane M
Kunasegaran, Kamini
Tan, Linda Wei Lin
Dutertre, Charles-Antoine
Shankar, Nivedita
Lim, Joey ME
Sun, Louisa Jin
Zahari, Marina
Tun, Zaw Myo
Kumar, Vishakha
Lim, Beng Lee 
Lim, Siew Hoon
Chia, Adeline
Tan, Yee-Joo 
Tambyah, Paul Anantharajah 
Kalimuddin, Shirin 
Lye, David 
Low, Jenny GH 
Wang, Lin-Fa 
Wan, Wei Yee 
Hsu, Li Yang 
Bertoletti, Antonio 
Tam, Clarence C 
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Medicine, Research & Experimental
Research & Experimental Medicine
Issue Date: 3-May-2021
Citation: Le Bert, Nina, Clapham, Hannah E, Tan, Anthony T, Chia, Wan Ni, Tham, Christine YL, Lim, Jane M, Kunasegaran, Kamini, Tan, Linda Wei Lin, Dutertre, Charles-Antoine, Shankar, Nivedita, Lim, Joey ME, Sun, Louisa Jin, Zahari, Marina, Tun, Zaw Myo, Kumar, Vishakha, Lim, Beng Lee, Lim, Siew Hoon, Chia, Adeline, Tan, Yee-Joo, Tambyah, Paul Anantharajah, Kalimuddin, Shirin, Lye, David, Low, Jenny GH, Wang, Lin-Fa, Wan, Wei Yee, Hsu, Li Yang, Bertoletti, Antonio, Tam, Clarence C (2021-05-03). Highly functional virus-specific cellular immune response in asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE 218 (5). ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The efficacy of virus-specific T cells in clearing pathogens involves a fine balance between antiviral and inflammatory features. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in individuals who clear SARS-CoV-2 without symptoms could reveal nonpathological yet protective characteristics. We longitudinally studied SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in a cohort of asymptomatic (n = 85) and symptomatic (n = 75) COVID-19 patients after seroconversion. We quantified T cells reactive to structural proteins (M, NP, and Spike) using ELISpot and cytokine secretion in whole blood. Frequencies of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were similar between asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals, but the former showed an increased IFN-γ and IL-2 production. This was associated with a proportional secretion of IL-10 and proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-1β) only in asymptomatic infection, while a disproportionate secretion of inflammatory cytokines was triggered by SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell activation in symptomatic individuals. Thus, asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals are not characterized by weak antiviral immunity; on the contrary, they mount a highly functional virus-specific cellular immune response.
ISSN: 00221007
DOI: 10.1084/jem.20202617
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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