Not just antibodies: B cells and T cells mediate immunity to COVID-19

Nat Rev Immunol. 2020 Oct;20(10):581-582. doi: 10.1038/s41577-020-00436-4.

Abstract

Recent reports that antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are not maintained in the serum following recovery from the virus have caused alarm. However, the absence of specific antibodies in the serum does not necessarily mean an absence of immune memory. Here, we discuss our current understanding of the relative contribution of B cells and T cells to immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and the implications for the development of effective treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / biosynthesis
  • Asymptomatic Diseases
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Betacoronavirus / immunology
  • Betacoronavirus / pathogenicity*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / immunology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / pathology
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular*
  • Immunity, Humoral
  • Immunization, Passive / methods
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin M / biosynthesis
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / immunology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / pathology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / virology
  • Time Factors

Substances

  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 serotherapy