Sunday, December 10, 2023

Researchers improve understanding of how T cells respond to SARS-CoV-2

The immune system is vitally important for resolving COVID-19 when individuals are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Moreover, the vaccines that are being administered to millions of people across the globe are designed to “pre-warn and arm” the immune system so that if infected with SARS-CoV-2, individuals are significantly less likely to develop severe disease or die. Here, two crucial arms of the immune system, namely B cells and T cells, play a central role. While we have a molecular understanding of how antibodies, which are produced by B cells, can bind and neutralize the spike protein from SARS-CoV-2, up until now researchers did not know how T cell receptors (TCRs), which are found on T cells, recognize antigens that arise from the spike protein. “T cells play an important role in immunity against both SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and severe acute respiratory infection,” said University of Melbourne professor Katherine Kedzierska, a laboratory head at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. “Although T cells in COVID-19 have been studied previously, the molecular basis underpinning TCR recognition of SARS-CoV-2 remained unknown.” In a world first finding, co-led by and Kedzierska, and Monash University’s Dr. Priyanka Chaurasia, Dr. Jan Petersen, and professor Jamie Rossjohn, the team analysed the TCR recognition of a spike protein fragment when presented by an immune molecule, termed Human Leukocyte Antigen A2 (HLA-A2). This work, which utilized the Australian Synchrotron, was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. “This is a piece of a larger puzzle. While SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve, we have to build our understanding of how effective immune responses work,” said Petersen. The team provided important molecular insight into understanding how T cells of the human immune system respond to SARS-CoV-2. Different individuals mount differing immune responses to SARS-CoV-2, and this work provided fundamental insight into such an immune response.

BIG Media
BIG Media
Our focus is on facts, accurate data, and logical interpretation. Our only agenda is the truth.

BIG Wrap

Hamas claims Israeli operation ended in hostage death

(BBC News) The armed wing of Hamas has released a video which it says shows the bloody aftermath of a failed Israeli operation to...

U.S. vetoes UN Security Council vote on Gaza ceasefire

(BBC News) The US has blocked a UN Security Council resolution put forward by the UAE calling for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza." Thirteen...