Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID
April 22, 2021 (MedicalXpress) -- A new study by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers provides evidence that CD4+ T lymphocytes -- immune system cells also known as helper T cells -- produced by people who have received either of the two messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines for COVID-19 caused by the original SARS-CoV-2 strain, also will recognize the mutant variants of the coronavirus that are rapidly becoming the dominant types worldwide.
The researchers say this suggests that T cell responses elicited or enhanced by the vaccines should be able to control the current SARS-CoV-2 variants without needing to be updated or modified.
They also found that the same T cells may provide some protection from another member of the coronavirus family that is responsible for one type of the common cold.
The findings were reported April 6, 2021, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.