Local SARS-CoV-2 Peptide-Specific Immune Responses in Lungs of Convalescent and Uninfected Human Subjects.

Academic Article


  • Multi-specific and long-lasting T cell immunity have been recognized as indicators for long term protection against pathogens including the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Functional significance of peripheral memory T cells in individuals recovering from COVID-19 (COVID-19 + ) are beginning to be appreciated; but little is known about lung resident memory T cells (lung TRM) in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we utilize a perfused three dimensional (3D) human lung tissue model and identify pre-existing local T cell immunity against SARS-CoV-2 proteins in lung tissues. We report ex vivo maintenance of functional multi-specific IFN-γ secreting lung TRM in COVID-19 + and their induction in lung tissues of vaccinated COVID-19 + . Importantly, we identify SARS-CoV-2 peptide-responding B cells and IgA + plasma cells in lung tissues of COVID-19 + in ex vivo 3D-tissue models. Our study highlights the importance of balanced and local anti-viral immune response in the lung with persistent induction of TRM and IgA + plasma cells for future protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further, our data suggest that inclusion of multiple viral antigens in vaccine approaches may broaden the functional profile of memory T cells to combat the severity of coronavirus infection.
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    Author List

  • Goliwas KF; Wood AM; Simmons CS; Khan R; Khan SA; Wang Y; Berry JL; Athar M; Mobley JA; Kim Y-I