Anti-Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Immune Responses: The Role Played by Vγ9Vδ2 T Cells

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Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV) strain. Analyses of T cell repertoires in health care workers who survived SARS-CoV infection during the 2003 outbreak revealed that their effector memory Vγ9Vδ2 T cell populations were selectively expanded ∽3 months after the onset of disease. No such expansion of their αβ T cell pools was detected. The expansion of the Vγ9Vδ2 T cell population was associated with higher anti-SARS-CoV immunoglobulin G titers. In addition, in vitro experiments demonstrated that stimulated Vγ9Vδ2 T cells display an interferon-γ-dependent anti-SARS-CoV activity and are able to directly kill SARS-CoV-infected target cells. These findings are compatible with the possibility that Vγ9Vδ2 T cells play a protective role during SARS.

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