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Durable T-cellular and humoral responses in SARS-CoV-2 hospitalized and community patients

Mohn, Kristin G-I, Bredholdt, Geir, Zhou, Fan, Madsen, Anders, Fjelltveit, Elisabeth, Jalloh, Sarah L, Karl A Brokstad, Karl A, Cantoni, Diego, Mayora-Neto, Martin, Temperton, Nigel J., and others. (2022) Durable T-cellular and humoral responses in SARS-CoV-2 hospitalized and community patients. PLoS ONE, . Article Number e0261979. E-ISSN 1932-6203. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0261979) (KAR id:93205)


Background: Neutralizing antibodies are important for protection against the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 virus, and long-term memory responses determine the risk of re-infection or boosting after vaccination. T-cellular responses are considered important for partial protection against novel variants of concern.

Methods: A prospective cohort of hospitalized (n = 14) and community (n = 38) patients with rt-PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were recruited. Blood samples and clinical data were collected when diagnosed and at 6 months. Serum samples were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2-spike specific antibodies using ELISA (IgG, IgA, IgM), pseudotype neutralization and microneutralization assays. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were investigated for virus-specific T-cell responses in the interferon-γ and interleukin-2 fluorescent-linked immunosorbent spot (FluroSpot) assay.

Results: We found durable SARS-CoV-2 spike- and internal protein specific T-cellular responses in patients with persistent antibodies at 6 months. Significantly higher IL-2 and IFN-γ secreting T-cell responses as well as SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG and neutralizing antibodies were detected in hospitalized compared to community patients. The immune response was impacted by age, gender, comorbidity and severity of illness, reflecting clinical observations.

Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 specific T-cellular and antibody responses persisted for 6 months post confirmed infection. In previously infected patients, re-exposure or vaccination will boost long-term immunity, possibly providing protection against re-infection with variant viruses.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0261979
Uncontrolled keywords: SARS-CoV-2; antibody response; Immune response; enzyme-linked immunoassays; COVID-19
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Medway School of Pharmacy
Depositing User: Nigel Temperton
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2022 21:18 UTC
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2022 16:35 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Cantoni, Diego.

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Mayora-Neto, Martin.

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Temperton, Nigel J..

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