T-cell response 'lasts 6 months after COVID-19': Study
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Robust cellular immunity persists for at least for six months after even mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, research has shown.

The study of 100 people showed that all had a cellular immune response against SARS-CoV-2 six months after infection although the size of the response was 50% higher in those who had experienced the symptomatic disease.

The researchers collected serum and blood samples from a cohort of more than 2000 clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers, including 100 who tested seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 in March and April 2020.

The average age of the donors was 41 (range 22 to 65 years old); 23 were men and 77 were women. None of them were hospitalised with covid-19—56 people had mild or moderate symptoms and 44 were asymptomatic.

Serum samples were collected monthly to measure antibody levels and blood samples were taken after six months to measure the T cell response using an ELISPOT and ICS analysis. The study found that virus-specific T cells were detectable in all donors at six months.

~ Antibody levels fell by around 50% during the first two months after infection but then plateaued.

~ The magnitude of the T cell response at six months was strongly correlated with the magnitude of the peak antibody response.

~ T cell response was 50% higher in those who had experienced symptoms did not necessarily mean that asymptomatic people may be more susceptible to reinfection as they may just be better at fighting off the virus without the need to generate a large immune response.

The study authors suggested that as T cell responses were also directed against additional nucleoprotein and membrane proteins these could also be valuable targets for future vaccines strategies.

Source: https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-preprint-looking-at-cellular-responses-six-months-after-sars-cov-2-infection-in-a-group-of-non-hospitalised-individuals/
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