Characterization of SARS-CoV-specific memory T cells from recovered individuals 4 years after infection

Arch Virol. 2009;154(7):1093-9. doi: 10.1007/s00705-009-0409-6. Epub 2009 Jun 13.

Abstract

SARS-CoV infection of human results in antigen-specific cellular and humoral immune responses. However, it is critical to determine whether SARS-CoV-specific memory T cells can persist for long periods of time. In this study, we analyzed the cellular immune response from 21 SARS-recovered individuals who had been diagnosed with SARS in 2003 by using ELISA, CBA, ELISpot and multiparameter flow cytometry assays. Our results demonstrated that low levels of specific memory T cell responses to SARS-CoV S, M, E and N peptides were detected in a proportion of SARS-recovered patients, and IFN-gamma was the predominant cytokine produced by T cells after stimulation with peptides. Cytometry analysis indicated that the majority of memory CD8(+) T cells produced IFN-gamma, whereas memory CD4(+) T cells produced IFN-gamma, IL-2 or TNF-alpha. These results might provide valuable information on the cellular immune response in recovered SARS-CoV patients for the rational design of vaccines against SARS-CoV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibody Formation
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Drug Design
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-2 / biosynthesis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • SARS Virus / immunology*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Interleukin-2
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interferon-gamma