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Distinct T cell polyfunctional profile in SARS-CoV-2 seronegative children associated with endemic human coronavirus cross-reactivity

Benede, N; Tincho, MB; Walters, A; Subbiah, V; Ngomti, A; Baguma, R; Butters, C; ... Keeton, RS; + view all (2024) Distinct T cell polyfunctional profile in SARS-CoV-2 seronegative children associated with endemic human coronavirus cross-reactivity. iScience , 27 (1) , Article 108728. 10.1016/j.isci.2023.108728. Green open access

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Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 infection in children typically results in asymptomatic or mild disease. There is a paucity of studies on SARS-CoV-2 antiviral immunity in African children. We investigated SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses in 71 unvaccinated asymptomatic South African children who were seropositive or seronegative for SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cell responses were detectable in 83% of seropositive and 60% of seronegative children. Although the magnitude of the CD4+ T cell response did not differ significantly between the two groups, their functional profiles were distinct, with SARS-CoV-2 seropositive children exhibiting a higher proportion of polyfunctional T cells compared to their seronegative counterparts. The frequency of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cells in seronegative children was associated with the endemic human coronavirus (HCoV) HKU1 IgG response. Overall, the presence of SARS-CoV-2-responding T cells in seronegative children may result from cross-reactivity to endemic coronaviruses and could contribute to the relative protection from disease observed in SARS-CoV-2-infected children.

Type: Article
Title: Distinct T cell polyfunctional profile in SARS-CoV-2 seronegative children associated with endemic human coronavirus cross-reactivity
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.108728
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2023.108728
Language: English
Additional information: ©2023 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Immunology, Immune response, Components of the immune system, Virology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10185296
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