COVID-19 : T lymphocytes: the great hope against the new strains of COVID

One of the biggest concerns that exist today is related to the possibility that new coronavirus mutations are resistant to vaccines. Therefore, scientists are working on the search for immune responses that can protect against the virus.

And the hope has a name: T lymphocytes. These are cells that circulate in the blood and are part of our immune system. Your mission consists of attacking foreign agents to proceed to destroy infected cells. Thus, there is confidence that they can offer protection against coronavirus.


Daina Graybosch, a biotechnology analyst, gave clues about the importance of its operation: “We know that antibodies are probably less effective, but we trust that T cells can save us. We don’t have the data, but we can be hopeful. “

Developed vaccines to date they have focused on the creation of antibodies. But the experts have also supported in the function of T lymphocytes to attack external pathogens. There are two types: ‘T killer’ (or ‘killer’) cells, that seek out and destroy infected cells; and helper T cells, which stimulate the production of antibodies and ‘T killer’ cells.

Against new strains

These components they seem essential to fight against the new existing strains. This is how the studies of the immunologists Alessandro Sette and Daniela Weiskopf of the La Jolla Institute of Immunology in California.

According to the first data, T cells generated by those who have suffered from the disease, target 15 or 20 fragments of coronavirus. In addition, they vary greatly from one person to another, which would confirm that a population would generate a great variety of T cells to kill the pathogen.

Though Sette and Weiskopf’s research has not yet been peer-reviewed, scientists have received great news: using the South African strain, T lymphocytes generated by vaccination or previous infection do not target the regions that were mutated.