T Cells Confer Protection to Three Main SARS-CoV-2 Variants

April 2, 2021

(Medscape) – Of the 45 noteworthy genetic mutations in three main SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern — variants first identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil — only a single one occurs at a location on the virus where T cells attach and alert the immune system that reinfection could be underway. So, among the three variants only one mutation looks like it can escape T cell recognition, and the CD8+ T cells generated by an initial SARS-CoV-2 infection can offer ample protection to people exposed to the B.1.1.7 (UK), B.1.351 (South Africa) or B.1.1.248 (Brazil) variants of concern, new evidence suggests.