T cells can also fight off Covid-19Monday May 31, 2021 at 10:43 am
New York : T cells are equally important like antibodies in fighting against the Covid-19 virus. When antibodies diminishes in number, the T cells can easily take up the task, reveals a study that is done on the blood cancer patients affected with Coronavirus.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, US, observed that the blood cancer patients suffering from Covid-19 who had more CD8 T cells, in spite of having diminishing antibodies due to cancer treatments were expected to survive more in comparison to the patients who had low CD8 T cells.
Alexander C. Huang, Assistant Professor of Hematology-Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine, varsity stated, “It’s clear T cells are critical in terms of the early infection and to help control the virus, but we also showed that they can compensate for B cell and antibody responses, which blood cancer patients are likely missing because of the drugs.”
Huang further added, “This is important when we think about how to improve the care of cancer patients with Covid. We need to maximize all the arms of the immune system, especially if we know that one particular arm of the immune system is down.”
As the Covid-19 mRNA vaccinations produce both antibody and T cells, the research in Nature Medicine opines that blood cancer patients can stay protected through T cells, even if there is no antibodies.
The team suggests that blood cancer patients are more prone to death caused due to Covid-19 in comparison to the patients having solid tumors or devoid of cancer.
Moreover, the immune profiling conducted on 214 blood samples of patients pointed to the fact that patients with blood cancer who are treated with anti- CD20 antibodies has lower level of B cells and antibodies when compared to the patients having solid cancer and people not suffering from it.
Additional analysis suggests that blood cancer patients along with the ones who are undergoing chemotherapy and anti-CD20 antibodies had a higher CD8 T cell count is expected to survive longer in comparison to the people having a lesser count.
The researchers opined that CD8 T cells might help in recovery from Covid when there is a shortage of B cells and antibodies.