Research suggesting that cellular (T cell) immunity against SARS-CoV-2 may persist six months after infection in adults has been published in Nature Immunology . The study, conducted by the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC), Public Health England, and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, was originally posted on bioRxiv as a pre-print, and has now been published following peer review.
We are very excited to see this paper fully published and congratulate all of the researchers involved for the impact that their work has had on our understanding of the immunological response to SARS-CoV-2, following infection with COVID-19. There was widespread media coverage of the research on its release as a pre-print, which demonstrated a clear interest by the public in the work of UK-CIC as important contributors to developing our understanding of the virus.
The study followed a cohort of more than 2,000 healthcare workers, some of which had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and who were either asymptomatic or with mild/moderate symptoms. After analysing the different aspects of T cell responses present in blood samples, the researchers found that all individuals had T cell responses six months after SARS-CoV-2 infection. The response was directed against a range of proteins from the virus, including the Spike protein which is currently proving to be an effective target of many of the vaccines being distributed around the world.
More information on the research, including a link to the original paper and a summary from the release of the preprint, can be found here.