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J Cell Mol Med ; 24(21): 12457-12463, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-796054


Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly spread worldwide, threatening the health and lives of many people. Unfortunately, information regarding the immunological characteristics of COVID-19 patients remains limited. Herein, we collected blood samples from 18 healthy donors (HDs) and 38 COVID-19 patients to analyse changes in the adaptive immune cell populations and their phenotypes. We observed that the lymphocyte percentage moderately decreased, CD4 and CD8 T cell percentage among lymphocytes were similar, and B cell percentage was increased in COVID-19 patients in comparison to that in HDs. T cells, especially CD8 T cells, showed an enhanced expression of late activation marker CD25 and exhaustion marker PD-1. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2 infection increased the percentage of T follicular helper- and germinal centre B-like cells in the blood. The parameters in COVID-19 patients remained unchanged across various age groups. Therefore, we demonstrated that the T and B cells are activated naturally and are functional during SARS-CoV-2 infection. These data provide evidence that the adaptive immunity in most patients could be primed to induce a significant immune response against SARS-CoV-2 infection upon receiving standard medical care.

Adaptive Immunity , COVID-19/immunology , Adult , Antigens, CD/metabolism , B-Lymphocytes/virology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/blood , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Male , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/metabolism , Receptors, CXCR5/metabolism