Cross-reactive CD4+ T cells enhance SARS-CoV-2 immune responses upon infection and vaccination

Loyal, Lucie, Braun, Julian, Henze, Larissa, Kruse, Beate, Dingeldey, Manuela, Reimert, Ulf, Kern, Florian, Schwarz, Tatjana, Mangold, Maike, Unger, Clara, Dörfler, Friederike, Kadler, Shirin, Rosowski, Jennifer, Gürcan, Kübrah, Uyar-Aydin, Zehra and others, (2021) Cross-reactive CD4+ T cells enhance SARS-CoV-2 immune responses upon infection and vaccination. Science. pp. 1-18. ISSN 1095-9203

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The functional relevance of pre-existing cross-immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is a subject of intense debate. Here, we show that human endemic coronavirus (HCoV)-reactive and SARS-CoV-2-cross-reactive CD4+ T cells are ubiquitous but decrease with age. We identified a universal immunodominant coronavirus-specific spike peptide (S816-830) and demonstrate that pre-existing spike- and S816-830-reactive T cells were recruited into immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and their frequency correlated with anti-SARS-CoV-2-S1-IgG antibodies. Spike-cross-reactive T cells were also activated after primary BNT162b2 COVID-19 mRNA vaccination displaying kinetics similar to secondary immune responses. Our results highlight the functional contribution of pre-existing spike-cross-reactive T cells in SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination. Cross-reactive immunity may account for the unexpectedly rapid induction of immunity following primary SARS-CoV-2 immunization and the high rate of asymptomatic/mild COVID-19 disease courses.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2021 16:46
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 07:02

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