The World Health Organization has declared SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak a worldwide pandemic. However, there is very limited understanding on the immune responses, especially adaptive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we collected blood from COVID-19 patients who have recently become virus-free, and therefore were discharged, and detected SARS-CoV-2-specific humoral and cellular immunity in eight newly discharged patients. Follow-up analysis on another cohort of six patients 2 weeks post discharge also revealed high titers of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies. In all 14 patients tested, 13 displayed serum-neutralizing activities in a pseudotype entry assay. Notably, there was a strong correlation between neutralization antibody titers and the numbers of virus-specific T cells. Our work provides a basis for further analysis of protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2, and understanding the pathogenesis of COVID-19, especially in the severe cases. It also has implications in developing an effective vaccine to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Keywords: COVID-19 patients; SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells; SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody; adaptive immunity.
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