T-Cell Immunity and COVID-19



June 9, 2021

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  • Webinar Summary T cells mediate the classic immune response to viral infections and appear to play these roles in fighting COVID-19 and clearing SARS-CoV-2. In addition to killing virally infected cells, T cells direct the production of high-affinity and neutralizing antibodies. In other viral illnesses, T-cell immunity provides long-term, durable protection and blocks forward transmission; protective immunity decreases the symptom severity of subsequent infection. The goal of vaccination is to mimic the protective immunity from natural infection with lower risk. The mRNA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) vaccines have shown high levels of protection against symptomatic COVID-19 for at least six months. The SARS-CoV-2 variants are concerning, and appear to evade antibody immunity, but perhaps not T-cell immunity. The prospect that T cell-directed vaccines may protect against variants has scientists racing to develop broadly protective vaccines ahead of the rapidly evolving mutants. Attendees will learn how: T cells (helper and killer) work in tandem to control and clear the ongoing infection T cells recognize and eliminate SARS-CoV-2 infected cells Vaccines can elicit T-cell immune responses

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