Research press release



ワクチン接種やウイルス感染によって誘導されたSARS-CoV-2スパイクタンパク質に対するT細胞応答の大多数は、オミクロン変異株に対して維持されていることが、138人の参加者が関係する研究によって明らかになった。ただし、このように維持されているT細胞応答がCOVID-19の重症化に対する防御に寄与するかどうかは、現時点では不明だ。今回の研究について報告する論文が、Nature に掲載された。


今回、Catherine Riou、Wendy Burgersたちの研究グループは、既にワクチン接種を受けた人やSARS-CoV-2の初期の変異株に感染した人のT細胞応答を調べ、オミクロン株に感染した場合にそのスパイクタンパク質を認識する能力を調べた。Riouたちは、ジョンソン・エンド・ジョンソン社製ワクチンを1回または2回接種した人(計40人)、ファイザー・ビオンテック社製ワクチンを2回接種した人(15人)とSARS-CoV-2に感染して回復したワクチン未接種者(15人)のT細胞応答を調べた。Riouたちは、被験者グループ全体で、CD 4+ T細胞応答とCD 8+ T細胞応答の70~80%が、オミクロン株スパイクタンパク質に対しても維持されることを明らかにした。


The majority of T cell responses against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, induced by vaccination or infection, are maintained against Omicron according to a study involving 138 participants published in Nature. However, it is yet to be determined whether the preserved T cell responses contribute to protection from severe COVID-19.

With over 30 mutations in the spike protein of Omicron, it has previously been documented that this variant has the ability to evade a substantial proportion of neutralizing antibody responses. However, the extent to which other components of the immune response, such as T cells, may still target Omicron is unclear.

Catherine Riou, Wendy Burgers and colleagues examined T cell responses in individuals who had previously been vaccinated or infected with earlier variants of SARS-CoV-2 to determine their ability to recognize the spike protein of Omicron should they become infected. The authors examined the T cell response from a total of 40 individuals who had received either one or two doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 15 who had received two doses of Pfizer–BioNTech and 15 unvaccinated individuals who had recovered from a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. They found that 70–80% of the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses were maintained against the Omicron spike protein across the study groups.

For 19 patients who were hospitalized with Omicron in South Africa, the authors found that these individuals had T cell responses comparable to those seen in patients who were hospitalized in previous waves of the pandemic, in which the ancestral (17 individuals), Beta (16 individuals) and Delta (16 individuals) variants were dominant. The authors conclude that the extensive mutations of Omicron have had a limited effect on T cell responses to the variant, suggesting that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific T cell responses are directed towards conserved regions of this protein.

doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04460-3

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