We assessed SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in samples from 89 acute COVID-19 patients, utilizing blood samples collected during the first wave of COVID-19 in Italy. The goal of the study was to examine correlations between SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses in the early phase comparing mild, moderate, or severe COVID-19 disease outcomes. T cell responses to the spike (S) and non-S proteins were measured in a combined activation-induced marker (AIM) and intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) assay. Early CD4+ T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 S correlated with milder disease by both AIM and IFN gamma ICS readouts. The correlation of S-specific CD4+ T cell responses with milder disease severity was most striking within the first two weeks of symptom onset compared to later time points. Furthermore, donors with milder disease were associated with polyantigenic CD4+ T cell responses that recognized more prominently non-S proteins in addition to S, while severe acute COVID-19 was characterized by lower magnitudes of CD4+ T cell responses and a narrower repertoire. In conclusion, this study highlights that both the magnitude and breadth of early SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cell responses correlated with milder disease outcomes in acute COVID-19 patients.

Early and Polyantigenic CD4 T Cell Responses Correlate with Mild Disease in Acute COVID-19 Donors

Tarke, Alison;Fenoglio, Daniela;Dentone, Chiara;Bassetti, Matteo;Filaci, Gilberto;
2022-01-01

Abstract

We assessed SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses in samples from 89 acute COVID-19 patients, utilizing blood samples collected during the first wave of COVID-19 in Italy. The goal of the study was to examine correlations between SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses in the early phase comparing mild, moderate, or severe COVID-19 disease outcomes. T cell responses to the spike (S) and non-S proteins were measured in a combined activation-induced marker (AIM) and intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) assay. Early CD4+ T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 S correlated with milder disease by both AIM and IFN gamma ICS readouts. The correlation of S-specific CD4+ T cell responses with milder disease severity was most striking within the first two weeks of symptom onset compared to later time points. Furthermore, donors with milder disease were associated with polyantigenic CD4+ T cell responses that recognized more prominently non-S proteins in addition to S, while severe acute COVID-19 was characterized by lower magnitudes of CD4+ T cell responses and a narrower repertoire. In conclusion, this study highlights that both the magnitude and breadth of early SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cell responses correlated with milder disease outcomes in acute COVID-19 patients.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1098453
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