University of Nebraska Medical Center

Research shows mRNA vaccine harnesses T-cell power to combat COVID-19 in lungs

Medical Express The effectiveness of mRNA vaccines in reducing disease severity and hospitalization from COVID-19 is well established. Now, new research from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine advances our understanding of how these vaccines protect the lungs following breakthrough infections from emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Published on Oct. 5 in the journal JCI Insightthe study is the first to directly demonstrate the role of memory CD8 T cells in mRNA vaccine-induced immunity to COVID-19. Memory CD8 T cells are a specialized type of white blood cell that rapidly respond when re-exposure to a pathogen occurs.

They are often referred to as “trained assassins” because they control viral infections by targeting and then destroying virally infected cells. This study, conducted in mice, shows that memory CD8 T cells were necessary and sufficient in controlling SARS-CoV-2, independent of antibodies. Researchers demonstrated this by showing how the protection afforded by mRNA vaccines was lost in mice when memory T cells were depleted prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.