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Lower CD4 T cell reactivity to seasonal coronaviruses found in healthcare workers with COVID-19


As scientists continue to grapple with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), special attention has been paid to population groups at high risk.

This includes healthcare workers (HCWs) who are on the frontline of the pandemic and are frequently exposed to the pathogen for long periods of time.

A new study by US-based researchers describes the results of a study on the immune response among HCWs, in particular, their T cell responses predating the pandemic.


Differential T cell reactivity to seasonal coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2 in community and health care workers. Image Credit: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock The team’s findings are available on the medRxiv * preprint server.

Endemic coronaviruses

There are a number of endemic coronaviruses (CoVs), such as the human CoVs (HCoVs), especially the one responsible for the common cold – known as the “common cold” coronavirus (CCC). The researchers cite alphacoronaviruses 223E and NL63, and betacoronaviruses OC43 and HKU1 as also belonging to this category.

They are both seasonal and cause endemic mild infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract. The genomes of OC43 and HKU1 share some degree of commonality with SARS-CoV-2, since they share […]

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