Key Papers

Early induction of SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells associates with rapid viral clearance and mild disease in COVID-19 patients

October 16, 2020

Virus-specific humoral and cellular immunity act synergistically to protect the host from viral infection. We interrogated the dynamic changes of virological and immunological parameters in 12 patients with symptomatic acute SARS-CoV-2 infection from disease onset to convalescence or death. We quantified SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in the respiratory tract in parallel with antibodies and circulating T cells specific for various structural (NP, M, ORF3a and spike) and non-structural proteins (ORF7/8, NSP7 and NSP13). We observed that while rapid induction and quantity of humoral responses were associated with increased disease severity, an early induction of SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells was present in patients with mild disease and accelerated viral clearance. These findings provide further support for a protective role of SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells over antibodies during SARS-CoV-2 infection with important implications in vaccine design and immune-monitoring.

Enhanced SARS-CoV-2 Neutralization by Secretory IgA in vitro

September 9, 2020

Here we characterize the IgA response to SARS-CoV-2 in a cohort of 149 individuals. IgA responses in plasma generally correlate with IgG responses and clones of IgM, IgG and IgA producing B cells that are derived from common progenitors are evident. Plasma IgA monomers are 2-fold less potent than IgG equivalents. However, IgA dimers, the primary form in the nasopharynx, are on average 15 times more potent than IgA monomers. Thus, secretory IgA responses may be particularly valuable for protection against SARS-CoV-2 and for vaccine efficacy.

The Interaction between Respiratory Pathogens and Mucus

February 10, 2016

This review summarizes the current understanding of respiratory mucus and its interactions with the respiratory pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza viruses, with particular focus on influenza virus transmissibility and host-range specificity. Based on current findings we propose that respiratory mucus represents an understudied host-restriction factor for influenza virus.

The CD8 T Cell Response to Respiratory Virus Infections

April 9, 2018

Herein, we review the current literature on CD8 T cell responses induced by respiratory virus infections. Additionally, we explore how this knowledge could be utilized in the development of future vaccines against respiratory viruses, with a special emphasis on RSV vaccination.

T Cell–Mediated Host Immune Defenses in the Lung

February 4, 2014

Evidence has increasingly shown that the lungs are a major site of immune regulation. A robust and highly regulated immune response in the lung protects the host from pathogen infection, whereas an inefficient or deleterious response can lead to various pulmonary diseases. Many cell types, such as epithelial cells, dendritic cells, macrophages, neutrophils, eosinophils, and B and T lymphocytes, contribute to lung immunity. This review focuses on the recent advances in understanding how T lymphocytes mediate pulmonary host defenses against bacterial, viral, and fungal pathogens.

DNA sensing by the cGAS–STING pathway in health and disease

July 29, 2019

Over the past decade, our understanding of how the recognition of nucleic acids is coupled to immune gene expression has advanced considerably, particularly for the DNA-sensing receptor cyclic GMP–AMP synthase (cGAS) and its downstream signalling effector stimulator of interferon genes (STING), as well as the molecular components and regulation of this pathway. Moreover, the ability of self-DNA to engage cGAS has emerged as an important mechanism fuelling the development of inflammation and implicating the cGAS–STING pathway in human inflammatory diseases and cancer. This detailed mechanistic and biological understanding is paving the way for the development and clinical application of pharmacological agonists and antagonists in the treatment of chronic inflammation and cancer.