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what do we know about T cells in COVID-19 infection and disease?

There has been a focus on the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and efforts to develop a ‘have I had it?’ antibody test.  But it’s becoming increasingly clear that the T cell response in those with COVID-19 might also be an important part of the immune response to infection.

What do we know from evidence published so far about the role of T cells in those infected with SARS-CoV-2?  Journalists dialled in to this briefing to ask questions about T cells and hear from scientists discuss aspects such as:

  • What do we know and what do we still not know from the evidence so far?
  • Are T cells as important as antibodies in the immune response to infection?
  • Do we know how long the T cell response lasts in those who have been infected?
  • Does the T cell response vary depending on whether the infection was asymptomatic, mild or severe?
  • Is a T cell response to infection a good thing or can it contribute to disease in those infected?
  • Is there a way of screening the population for T cell response?


Speakers included:

Prof Daniel Altmann, Professor of Immunology, Imperial College London

Prof Mala Maini, Professor of Viral Immunology, UCL

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