New research shows that previously infected patients had molecular markers that suggested that immune cells could last longer and migrate more efficiently to the airways.
Both Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines produce long-term T cell populations that can protect against several variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), according to a new study by Gladstone Institutes.
Overall, our data support the idea that vaccines elicit a very strong T cell response in healthy individuals, ”said Dr. Nadia Roan, an assistant researcher at Gladstone. “But they also suggest there may be some ways to improve them further by getting more vaccine-induced T cells to park themselves in the airways.”
The researchers found that fully vaccinated individuals had T cells that responded to three different variants of SARS-CoV-2. However, the Delta variant was not included in the study.
T cells respond to cells that are already infected and typically last longer after the first infection or vaccine to prevent severe symptoms.
The researchers found that people who had previously been infected with COVID-19 had molecular markers that suggested that immune cells could last longer and migrate more efficiently through the airways.
They also found that more effective T cell defense in the airways may help explain why breakthrough infections are less common in individuals with a history of COVID-19 infections than those who have just been vaccinated.
Other studies are planned to investigate T cell behavior in cases of long-term T cell response in COVID-19 individuals and in immunocompromised individuals after COVID-19 vaccination and in T cell responses after booster vaccines.
The research results were published in a scientific journal eLife.
The immune response to COVID-19 is different from the previous infection. EurekAlert. Press release. October 12, 2021. Used October 13, 2021. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/931316