Detection of SARS-CoV-2-Specific Humoral and Cellular Immunity in COVID-19 Convalescent Individuals

Immunity. 2020 Jun 16;52(6):971-977.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2020.04.023. Epub 2020 May 3.

Abstract

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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Betacoronavirus / physiology*
  • Convalescence
  • Coronavirus Infections / blood
  • Coronavirus Infections / immunology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular*
  • Immunity, Humoral*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / blood
  • Pneumonia, Viral / immunology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / pathology
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus / immunology

Substances

  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
  • spike protein, SARS-CoV-2

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2