Differential T-Cell Reactivity to Endemic Coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2 in Community and Health Care Workers

Ricardo Da Silva Antunes, Suresh Pallikkuth, Erin Williams, Esther Dawen Yu, Jose Mateus, Lorenzo Quiambao, Eric Wang, Stephen A. Rawlings, Daniel Stadlbauer, Kaijun Jiang, Fatima Amanat, David Arnold, David Andrews, Irma Fuego, Jennifer M. Dan, Alba Grifoni, Daniela Weiskopf, Florian Krammer, Shane Crotty, Michael E. HofferSavita G. Pahwa, Alessandro Sette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Herein we measured CD4+ T-cell responses against common cold coronaviruses (CCC) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in high-risk health care workers (HCW) and community controls. We observed higher levels of CCC-reactive T cells in SARS-CoV-2-seronegative HCW compared to community donors, consistent with potential higher occupational exposure of HCW to CCC. We further show that SARS-CoV-2 T-cell reactivity of seronegative HCW was higher than community controls and correlation between CCC and SARS-CoV-2 responses is consistent with cross-reactivity and not associated with recent in vivo activation. Surprisingly, CCC T-cell reactivity was decreased in SARS-CoV-2-infected HCW, suggesting that exposure to SARS-CoV-2 might interfere with CCC responses, either directly or indirectly. This result was unexpected, but consistently detected in independent cohorts derived from Miami and San Diego. CD4+ T-cell responses against common cold coronaviruses (CCC) are elevated in SARS-CoV-2 seronegative high-risk health care workers (HCW) compared to COVID-19 convalescent HCW, suggesting that exposure to SARS-CoV-2 might interfere with CCC responses and/or cross-reactivity associated with a protective effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume224
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • T cells
  • coronaviruses
  • health care workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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