T-cell proliferation assay for the detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cells

Chu, Chang, Schönbrunn, Anne, Elitok, Saban, Kern, Florian, Schnatbaum, Karsten, Wenschuh, Holger, Klemm, Kristin, von Baehr, Volker, Krämer, Bernhard K and Hocher, Berthold (2022) T-cell proliferation assay for the detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cells. Clinica Chimica Acta, 532. pp. 130-136. ISSN 0009-8981

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Both infection with and vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 trigger a complex B-cell and T-cell response. Methods for the analysis of the B-cell response are now well established. However, reliable methods for measuring the T-cell response are less well established and their usefulness in clinical settings still needs to be proven. Here, we have developed and validated a T-cell proliferation assay based on 3H thymidine incorporation. The assay is using SARS-CoV-2 derived peptide pools that cover the spike (S), the nucleocapsid (N) and the membrane (M) protein for stimulation. We have compared this novel SARS-CoV-2 lymphocyte transformation test (SARS-CoV-2 LTT) to an established ELISA assay detecting Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to the S1 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The study was carried out using blood samples from both vaccinated and infected health care workers as well as from a non-infected control group. Our novel SARS-CoV-2 LTT shows excellent discrimination of infected and/or vaccinated individuals versus unexposed controls, with the ROC analysis showing an area under the curve (AUC) of > 0.95. No false positives were recorded as all unexposed controls had a negative LTT result. When using peptide pools not only representing the S protein (found in all currently approved vaccines) but also the N and M proteins (not contained in the vast majority of vaccines), the novel SARS-CoV-2 LTT can also discriminate T-cell responses resulting from vaccination against those induced by infection.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Humoral and cellular immune responses, Lymphocyte transformation test, SARS-CoV-2, T-cell response, Antibodies, Viral, COVID-19, Cell Proliferation, Humans, Peptides, SARS-CoV-2, Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus, T-Lymphocytes, Vaccination
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2022 11:40
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 14:57
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/109430

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