The role of cell-mediated immunity in human SARS-CoV infection is still not well understood. In this study, we found that memory T-cell responses against the spike (S) protein were persistent for more than 1 year after SARS-CoV infection by detecting the production of IFN-gamma using ELISA and ELISpot assays. Flow cytometric analysis showed that both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells were involved in cellular responses against SARS-CoV infection. Interestingly, most of SARS-CoV S-specific memory CD4(+) T cells were central memory cells expressing CD45RO(+) CCR7(+) CD62L(-). However, the majority of memory CD8(+) T cells revealed effector memory phenotype expressing CD45RO(-) CCR7(-) CD62L(-). Thus, our study provides the evidence that SARS-CoV infection in humans can induce cellular immune response that is persistent for a long period of time. These data may have an important implication in the possibility of designing effective vaccine against SARS-CoV infection, specifically in defining T-cell populations that are implicated in protective immunity.