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Immunity ; 55(7): 1299-1315.e4, 2022 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2076210

ABSTRACT

As the establishment of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific T cell memory in children remains largely unexplored, we recruited convalescent COVID-19 children and adults to define their circulating memory SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells prior to vaccination. We analyzed epitope-specific T cells directly ex vivo using seven HLA class I and class II tetramers presenting SARS-CoV-2 epitopes, together with Spike-specific B cells. Unvaccinated children who seroconverted had comparable Spike-specific but lower ORF1a- and N-specific memory T cell responses compared with adults. This agreed with our TCR sequencing data showing reduced clonal expansion in children. A strong stem cell memory phenotype and common T cell receptor motifs were detected within tetramer-specific T cells in seroconverted children. Conversely, children who did not seroconvert had tetramer-specific T cells of predominantly naive phenotypes and diverse TCRαß repertoires. Our study demonstrates the generation of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell memory with common TCRαß motifs in unvaccinated seroconverted children after their first virus encounter.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
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