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J Exp Med ; 218(4)2021 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387677


SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for an ongoing pandemic that has affected millions of individuals around the globe. To gain further understanding of the immune response in recovered individuals, we measured T cell responses in paired samples obtained an average of 1.3 and 6.1 mo after infection from 41 individuals. The data indicate that recovered individuals show persistent polyfunctional SARS-CoV-2 antigen-specific memory that could contribute to rapid recall responses. Recovered individuals also show enduring alterations in relative overall numbers of CD4+ and CD8+ memory T cells, including expression of activation/exhaustion markers, and cell division.

COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Biomarkers , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , T-Cell Antigen Receptor Specificity , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism , Young Adult
Thorax ; 76(10): 1010-1019, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180971


BACKGROUND: Knowledge of the pathophysiology of COVID-19 is almost exclusively derived from studies that examined the immune response in blood. We here aimed to analyse the pulmonary immune response during severe COVID-19 and to compare this with blood responses. METHODS: This was an observational study in patients with COVID-19 admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Mononuclear cells were purified from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and blood, and analysed by spectral flow cytometry; inflammatory mediators were measured in BALF and plasma. FINDINGS: Paired blood and BALF samples were obtained from 17 patients, four of whom died in the ICU. Macrophages and T cells were the most abundant cells in BALF, with a high percentage of T cells expressing the ƴδ T cell receptor. In the lungs, both CD4 and CD8 T cells were predominantly effector memory cells (87·3% and 83·8%, respectively), and these cells expressed higher levels of the exhaustion marker programmad death-1 than in peripheral blood. Prolonged ICU stay (>14 days) was associated with a reduced proportion of activated T cells in peripheral blood and even more so in BALF. T cell activation in blood, but not in BALF, was higher in fatal COVID-19 cases. Increased levels of inflammatory mediators were more pronounced in BALF than in plasma. INTERPRETATION: The bronchoalveolar immune response in COVID-19 has a unique local profile that strongly differs from the immune profile in peripheral blood. Fully elucidating COVID-19 pathophysiology will require investigation of the pulmonary immune response.

COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/physiology , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Aged , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/chemistry , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Critical Care , Critical Illness , Female , Flow Cytometry , Humans , Macrophages/physiology , Male , Middle Aged , T-Lymphocytes/physiology