What is the role of T cells in the response to SARS-CoV-2?
By Global T cell Expert Consortium
In Episode 2 of the Global T cell Expert Consortium (GTEC) podcast series, Dr Andrew Makin (Vice President of Medical Affairs, Oxford Immunotec) welcomes Prof. Danny Altmann (Professor of Immunology, Imperial College London) to talk about the role of T cells in the response to SARS-CoV-2. Prof. Altmann describes how the immune system reacts to viral infections, including how antibody and T cell responses are generated and the ways in which they differ. This podcast also highlights the importance of both antibodies and T cells in the immune response their interdependence on one another and the timings of these responses during infections. Prof. Altmann explains the role of different T cells in SARS-CoV-2 infection, including the roles of CD4, CD8 and memory T cells. Dr Makin and Prof. Altmann discuss how T cell responses can be measured using assays such as ELISPOT, including details of the large-scale Public Health England EDSAB-HOME study which used an ELISPOT assay to analyse the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2. They also emphasise the importance of standardised, reproducible T cell testing, and the impact of such tests on T cell and immunology research. This podcast was developed by the Global T cell Expert Consortium (GTEC), an initiative set up to bring together experts in T cells, vaccines, immunology and public health worldwide, with the aim of becoming the leading voice in T cell research during and beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic. The GTEC will educate on T cells and vaccine development through the release of publicly available educational content, and foster collaborative research efforts to address the unmet needs and unanswered questions in T cell research and vaccinology. This initiative is sponsored by Oxford Immunotec.