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ADTB-supported research: Immunity to human coronaviruses beyond COVID-19

19 Mar 2021

Doherty Institute’s researchers, Dr Jennifer Juno and team studied the nature of the immune response to four endemic human coronaviruses, in an effort to understand long-term immunity to coronaviruses.

The study finds that almost all adults show evidence of both antibody and T cell responses to these coronaviruses, although often at relatively low levels.

This provides evidence that the immune system can remember encounters with coronaviruses, even if they cause only very mild illness.

One key finding of the study was that immune cells recognising coronaviruses were present not only in the circulation, but also in lymph nodes located close to the lung.

This suggests that maintaining immune responses in tissue sites near the respiratory tract may be an important component of long-term immune memory to coronaviruses and other respiratory viruses.

"These results will be useful in guiding future studies of COVID-19 vaccine responses and immunity to other respiratory viruses."

The study, ‘Adaptive immunity to human coronaviruses is widespread but low in magnitude’, is published in Clinical and Translational Immunology.


This article was adapted from an original article by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

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