What is it about?
We have shown that multiple types of SARS-CoV-2-specific T helper cells (Th2, Th17) are highly active in the first 10 weeks after COVID-19 and then disappear completely. However, SARS-CoV-2-specific Th1 cells remain stably active for years after infection.
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Why is it important?
T cells limit the severity of viral infections. We show that there are two distinct phases of T cell reactivity in patients recovering from COVID-19. The initial but transient accumulation of several types of T helper cells may imply particularly efficacious protection against SARS-CoV-2 in the first months after COVID-19. The finding that reactive Th1 cells remained functional for years challenges the view that T cell-mediated protection against COVID-19 might decline over time. Instead, our results suggest that all infected patients harbor stably reactive Th1 cells after SARS-CoV-2 infection and that these protective cells do not disappear or decline over time.
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This page is a summary of: Transient and durable T cell reactivity after COVID-19, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2203659119.
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