There is even a small possibility that pre-existing T cells may be at risk for severe symptoms of Kovid-19, although experts consider this possibility unlikely. T-cells that are primed to recognize the common-cold coronavirus may only have a weakened response to existing coronaviruses, possibly potentially shattering resources from other populations of immune cells that are better shot at defeating the new invader . “Now your immune system is distracted,” Dr. Iyer said.
T cells are also specialist orchestrators. Depending on the signals they send out, they can synchronize cells and molecules from disparate parts of the immune system into a tag-coupled attack, or stop these attacks by returning the body back to baseline. . If it turns out that cross-reactive T cells are toward silencing the reaction, they can suppress a person’s immune defense before he or she has a chance to kick into the gear. August said.
Then again, many types of T cells exist, and all function as part of a complex immune system. “It’s almost as if some people are trying to say whether it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’,” Dr. Su said. “It’s probably more granular than that.”
It will not be easy to separate it all. Unlike antibodies, which are inanimate proteins that are often transmitted to the blood, T cells are living cells that often pierce hard-to-reach tissues. Dr. The paper stated that they are more difficult to extract, maintain and analyze.
Researchers can learn more by testing whether cross-reactive T cells are more abundant in patients who have mild or severe cases of Kovid-19, although such studies cannot prove the cause and effect. A more laborious endeavor may involve measuring cross-reactive T cell levels in larger groups of healthy people, then having to wait to see if they have become infected or ill with the current coronavirus, Drs. Sette said.
Dr. Iyer studies in his laboratory that strong evidence can also come from an animal model similar to that of Rhesus Macaque. Researchers can dose primates with primate cold-coronaviruses, and then see how their immune responses stack up against new coronoviruses.
Less than a year into this epidemic, a lot of questions remain unanswered, Drs. The paper said. Immunologists cannot fully predict how the human immune system will respond to this new virus; Even at its own pace with science, that interaction must be studied in real time.
This is a depressing reality, Dr. Pepper said: “We don’t know until we see it in real life.”