A study published in the scientific journal ‘Nature Research’ has revealed that few people exposed to the novel coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) may have an immune system prepared to combat it.
Here are five components of the story:
- For this study, scientists examined Memory T cells induced by previous pathogens. These cells can ascertain the clinical severity of infections to some extent. Responses of these T cells to structural and non-structural regions in Covid-19 convalescents led researchers to demonstrate the presence of CD4 and CD8 T cells in recognizing multiple regions of the NP protein.
- “We then showed that SARS-recovered patients still possess long-lasting memory T cells reactive to SARS-NP 17 years after the 2003 outbreak, which displayed robust cross-reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 NP,” the study asserted.
- The study adds that scientists unexpectedly discovered SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells in people with no history of SARS, Covid-19 or contact with patients contaminated by these. The study says, “SARS-CoV-2 T cells in uninfected donors exhibited a different pattern of immunodominance, frequently targeting the ORF-1-coded proteins NSP7 and 13 as well as the NP structural protein.”
- “Infection with beta coronaviruses induces multispecific and long-lasting T cell immunity to the structural protein NP,” the study concludes.
- Authors, Nina Le Bert and Anthony T Tan point out that understanding how pre-existing NP- and ORF-1-specific T cells present in the general population impact vulnerability and pathogenesis of Covid-19 is of paramount importance for the management of the ongoing pandemic.