Laurén I, Havervall S, Ng H, Lord M, Pettke A, Greilert-Norin N, Gabrielsson L, Chourlia A, Amoêdo-Leite C, Josyula VS, Eltahir M, Kerzeli I, Falk AJ, Hober J, Christ W, Wiberg A, Hedhammar M, Tegel H, Burman J, Xu F, Pin E, Månberg A, Klingström J, Christoffersson G, Hober S, Nilsson P, Philipson M, Dönnes P, Lindsay R, Thålin C, Mangsbo S
Immun Inflamm Dis 10 (4) e595 [2022-04-00; online 2022-03-30]
Cellular immune memory responses post coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been difficult to assess due to the risks of contaminating the immune response readout with memory responses stemming from previous exposure to endemic coronaviruses. The work herein presents a large-scale long-term follow-up study investigating the correlation between symptomology and cellular immune responses four to five months post seroconversion based on a unique severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific peptide pool that contains no overlapping peptides with endemic human coronaviruses. Peptide stimulated memory T cell responses were assessed with dual interferon-gamma (IFNγ) and interleukin (IL)-2 Fluorospot. Serological analyses were performed using a multiplex antigen bead array. Our work demonstrates that long-term SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cell responses feature dual IFNγ and IL-2 responses, whereas cross-reactive memory T cell responses primarily generate IFNγ in response to SARS-CoV-2 peptide stimulation. T cell responses correlated to long-term humoral immune responses. Disease severity as well as specific COVID-19 symptoms correlated with the magnitude of the SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cell response four to five months post seroconversion. Using a large cohort and a SARS-CoV-2-specific peptide pool we were able to substantiate that initial disease severity and symptoms correlate with the magnitude of the SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cell responses.