2
$\begingroup$

I'm interested in better understanding this Nature publication, discussing the potential for Covid to infect t-cells.

After describing the results they conclude:

"Based on the results of pseudovirus and live virus infection, here we proved that (1) SARS-CoV-2 could infect T cells, (2) SARS-CoV-2 infected T cells through receptor-dependent, S protein-mediated membrane fusion, and (3) infection could be inhibited by EK1 peptide."

Is this big news? I am not an expert but I believe that HIV's special trait is it's ability to infect CD4+ T cells. If this virus has this ability, does it mean it will have long-term effects like lymphocytopenia, which occurs in HIV?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Cell-cell fusion means it can probably infect and even replicate inside any kind of cell? But this is probably a minor target compared to type II cells. In the paper they obtained significant virus entry and cell-cell fusion but not significant replication inside their T-cell line. It might explain partially some of the pathogenic effect in particular if the virus induces apoptosis or just cytokine release in immunity cells. $\endgroup$ – reuns Apr 10 at 17:35
5
$\begingroup$

As referenced the publication you shared, other human corona viruses also infect, but do not replicate in T cells, so it's not "Big News" in the sense of being a novel or unexpected finding. This also differs from HIV, which actively replicates in CD4+ T Cells. However, it does seem like CoV-2 patients have reduced T-cells after recovery, and that reduced lymphocyte levels during infection are associated with greater risk of mortality from COVID-19.

It doesn't seem like there's any evidence in the literature for long-term lymphocytopenia in recovered SARS and MERS patients, but it's still too early make any strong conclusions about long-term effects from the current outbreak.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ So, the T-Cell is susceptible, but not permissive? $\endgroup$ – Budhaditya Ghosh Apr 14 at 19:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.