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Older adults lack SARS CoV-2 cross-reactive T lymphocytes directed to human coronaviruses OC43 and NL63.
Sci Rep. 2020 12 08; 10(1):21447.SR

Abstract

Currently, infections with SARS-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, are responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. Older adults subjects > 60 years of age account for > 95% of the over one million fatal cases reported to date. It is unclear why in this age group SARS-CoV-2 infection causes more severe disease than in young adults. We hypothesized that differences in SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive cellular immunity induced after infection with human coronaviruses (HCoVs), like OC43 and NL63, were at the basis of the differential mortality (and morbidity) observed after SARS-CoV-2 infection, because a small proportion of HCoV-specific T cells cross-react with SARS-CoV-2. Our data demonstrate that pre-existing T cell immunity induced by circulating human alpha- and beta-HCoVs is present in young adult individuals, but virtually absent in older adult subjects. Consequently, the frequency of cross-reactive T cells directed to the novel pandemic SARS-CoV-2 was minimal in most older adults. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the presence of cross-reactive T cells to SARS-CoV-2 is compared in young and older adults. Our findings provide at least a partial explanation for the more severe clinical outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection observed in the elderly. Moreover, this information could help to design efficacious vaccines for this age group, aiming at the induction of cell-mediated immunity.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, 30559, Hannover, Germany.Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, 30559, Hannover, Germany.Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, 30559, Hannover, Germany.Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, 30559, Hannover, Germany.Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, 30559, Hannover, Germany.Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, 30559, Hannover, Germany.Virology Section, Infectious Diseases and Immunology Division, Department of Biomolecular Health Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.Virology Section, Infectious Diseases and Immunology Division, Department of Biomolecular Health Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, 30559, Hannover, Germany.Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, 30559, Hannover, Germany. guus.rimmelzwaan@tiho-hannover.de.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

33293664

Citation

Saletti, Giulietta, et al. "Older Adults Lack SARS CoV-2 Cross-reactive T Lymphocytes Directed to Human Coronaviruses OC43 and NL63." Scientific Reports, vol. 10, no. 1, 2020, p. 21447.
Saletti G, Gerlach T, Jansen JM, et al. Older adults lack SARS CoV-2 cross-reactive T lymphocytes directed to human coronaviruses OC43 and NL63. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):21447.
Saletti, G., Gerlach, T., Jansen, J. M., Molle, A., Elbahesh, H., Ludlow, M., Li, W., Bosch, B. J., Osterhaus, A. D. M. E., & Rimmelzwaan, G. F. (2020). Older adults lack SARS CoV-2 cross-reactive T lymphocytes directed to human coronaviruses OC43 and NL63. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 21447. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-78506-9
Saletti G, et al. Older Adults Lack SARS CoV-2 Cross-reactive T Lymphocytes Directed to Human Coronaviruses OC43 and NL63. Sci Rep. 2020 12 8;10(1):21447. PubMed PMID: 33293664.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Older adults lack SARS CoV-2 cross-reactive T lymphocytes directed to human coronaviruses OC43 and NL63. AU - Saletti,Giulietta, AU - Gerlach,Thomas, AU - Jansen,Janina M, AU - Molle,Antonia, AU - Elbahesh,Husni, AU - Ludlow,Martin, AU - Li,Wentao, AU - Bosch,Berend-Jan, AU - Osterhaus,Albert D M E, AU - Rimmelzwaan,Guus F, Y1 - 2020/12/08/ PY - 2020/06/29/received PY - 2020/11/18/accepted PY - 2020/12/9/entrez PY - 2020/12/10/pubmed PY - 2021/1/8/medline SP - 21447 EP - 21447 JF - Scientific reports JO - Sci Rep VL - 10 IS - 1 N2 - Currently, infections with SARS-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, are responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. Older adults subjects > 60 years of age account for > 95% of the over one million fatal cases reported to date. It is unclear why in this age group SARS-CoV-2 infection causes more severe disease than in young adults. We hypothesized that differences in SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive cellular immunity induced after infection with human coronaviruses (HCoVs), like OC43 and NL63, were at the basis of the differential mortality (and morbidity) observed after SARS-CoV-2 infection, because a small proportion of HCoV-specific T cells cross-react with SARS-CoV-2. Our data demonstrate that pre-existing T cell immunity induced by circulating human alpha- and beta-HCoVs is present in young adult individuals, but virtually absent in older adult subjects. Consequently, the frequency of cross-reactive T cells directed to the novel pandemic SARS-CoV-2 was minimal in most older adults. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the presence of cross-reactive T cells to SARS-CoV-2 is compared in young and older adults. Our findings provide at least a partial explanation for the more severe clinical outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection observed in the elderly. Moreover, this information could help to design efficacious vaccines for this age group, aiming at the induction of cell-mediated immunity. SN - 2045-2322 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/33293664/Older_adults_lack_SARS_CoV_2_cross_reactive_T_lymphocytes_directed_to_human_coronaviruses_OC43_and_NL63_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-78506-9 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -