T cells found in coronavirus patients ‘bode well’ for long-term immunity
T cells are among the immune system’s most powerful weapons, but their importance for battling SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been unclear. Now, two studies show infected people harbor T cells that target the virus—and may help them recover. Both studies also found that some people never infected with SARS-CoV-2 have these cellular defenses, most likely because they were previously infected with other coronaviruses that cause the common cold.
“This is encouraging data,” says virologist Angela Rasmussen of Columbia University, who wasn’t involved in the work. Although the studies don’t clarify whether people who clear a SARS-CoV-2 infection can ward off the virus in the future, both identified strong T cell responses to it, which “bodes well for the development of long-term protective immunity,” Rasmussen says. The findings could also help researchers create better vaccines.
The more than 100 COVID-19 vaccines in development mainly focus on triggering a different immune response: antibodies. Researchers know our B cells make antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, which vaccine developers hope can latch onto the virus and prevent it from entering cells. But T cells can also help thwart infections. Helper T cells spur B cells and other immune defenders into action, whereas killer T cells target and destroy infected cells. The severity of disease can depend on the strength of these T cell responses.
Country Total Recovered
USA 382,169
Spain 196,958
Germany 158,000
Italy 134,560
Brazil 125,960
Turkey 114,990
Iran 100,564
Russia 92,681
China 78,249
France 63,858
India 48,553
Peru 43,587
Canada 41,715
Mexico 38,876
Saudi Arabia 36,040
Switzerland 27,900
Chile 23,992
Ireland 21,060
Belgium 14,988
Austria 14,951
Pakistan 14,155
Israel 13,724
UAE 12,755
Japan 12,672
Singapore 12,117
Belarus 12,057
Romania 10,581
S. Korea 10,135
Denmark 9,643
South Africa 8,950
Poland 8,452
Dominican Republic 7,366
Qatar 7,288
Australia 6,472
Portugal 6,452
Panama 6,245
Ukraine 6,227
Czechia 5,926
Malaysia 5,796
Bangladesh 5,602
Serbia 5,370
Kuwait 5,205
Sweden 4,971
Indonesia 4,838
Finland 4,800
Colombia 4,431
Morocco 4,280
Egypt 4,217
Algeria 4,062
Bahrain 3,873
Kazakhstan 3,843
Luxembourg 3,741
Ecuador 3,557
Argentina 3,032
Philippines 3,000
Moldova 2,953
Thailand 2,897
Armenia 2,581
Iraq 2,483
Uzbekistan 2,407
Azerbaijan 2,340
Croatia 1,978
Nigeria 1,907
Ghana 1,898
Oman 1,821
Cameroon 1,808
Iceland 1,790
Cuba 1,603
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1,596
Guinea 1,575
Hungary 1,509
Estonia 1,488
New Zealand 1,452
North Macedonia 1,378
Greece 1,374
Slovenia 1,340
Senegal 1,251
Slovakia 1,245
Ivory Coast 1,100
Djibouti 1,055
Lithuania 1,049
Hong Kong 1,029
Afghanistan 938
Kyrgyzstan 923
Mayotte 894
Tunisia 883
Albania 771
Niger 753
Bulgaria 727
Latvia 694
Burkina Faso 669
Lebanon 663
Diamond Princess 651
Andorra 639
Sri Lanka 604
Uruguay 594
Costa Rica 592
Cyprus 561
Mali 558
Bolivia 553
El Salvador 544
Channel Islands 508
Georgia 485
Tajikistan 470
Malta 468
Jordan 457
Réunion 411
Taiwan 407
Kenya 375
Gabon 365
Honduras 355
Palestine 346
Mauritius 322
Montenegro 314
Sudan 309
DRC 303
Isle of Man 303
Zambia 302
Vietnam 264
Venezuela 262
Paraguay 256
San Marino 235
Rwanda 217
Sierra Leone 205
Somalia 204
Nicaragua 199
Faeroe Islands 187
Chad 186
Tanzania 183
Jamaica 171
Guatemala 159
Gibraltar 146
Congo 137
French Guiana 137
Brunei 136
Madagascar 131
Liberia 131
Ethiopia 123
Cambodia 122
Togo 118
Eswatini 112
Guadeloupe 109
Myanmar 108
Trinidad and Tobago 107
Cabo Verde 95
Aruba 95
Maldives 91
Martinique 91
Monaco 90
Bermuda 80
Barbados 70
Uganda 66
Benin 61
French Polynesia 60
Guyana 57
Cayman Islands 55
Liechtenstein 55
Sint Maarten 54
Nepal 49
Mozambique 48
Macao 45
Bahamas 44
Guinea-Bissau 42
Eritrea 39
Syria 36
Libya 35
Saint Martin 33
Norway 32
Malawi 27
Mongolia 26
Timor-Leste 24
Equatorial Guinea 22
Haiti 21
Burundi 20
Botswana 19
Antigua and Barbuda 19
CAR 18
Zimbabwe 18
New Caledonia 18
Saint Lucia 18
Angola 17
Grenada 17
Belize 16
Dominica 16
Fiji 15
Saint Kitts and Nevis 15
Laos 14
Namibia 14
St. Vincent Grenadines 14
Curaçao 14
Gambia 13
Falkland Islands 13
Greenland 11
Seychelles 11
Turks and Caicos 10
Montserrat 10

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