T cell test to provide a complete picture of the body's immune response to the COVID-19 virus.
In collaboration with researchers at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID), researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School have found a simple and quick method for measuring the immune response of T lymphocytes to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the source of COVID-19.
What exactly is a T cell, and what role does it play in our bodies fight against the COVID-19 virus?
T lymphocytes, also known as T cells, are a type of white blood cell that plays a critical role in the adaptive immune response. The letter “T” represents the Thymus, the organ in which their development is completed.
The SARS-CoV-2 immune response is largely dependent on antibodies and T cells, according to a growing body of evidence. This is a game-changer for scientists who wish to track and evaluate specific T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 in vaccinated and recovering people, as well as to test and validate the vaccine’s efficacy.
T cells, according to the researchers, play an important role in terms of safeguarding people from COVID-19 alongside antibodies, but they are more difficult to detect and measure. Their findings suggest an approach that is feasible for overcoming the existing limitations of detecting point-specific T cell responses, as well as for better understanding the role of T-cells in the immune system.
How did the T cell study in relation to the COVID-19 cure go?
For the study, the researchers administered blood tests to volunteers who had been infected and cured with COVID-19 or who were immune to COVID-19, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Small fragments of the SARS-CoV-2 point protein were then injected directly into the blood samples. T cells responded to these fragments by releasing chemical signals known as cytokines, which would be much easier to spot and assess than T cells, which are already used to track the activity o fT cell to diagnose diseases such as tuberculosis.
Researchers demonstrated the Cytokine Release Assay (CRA) on this basis, demonstrating that it can reliably quantify and identify specific T-cells people’s blood infected with SARS-CoV-2 or immunized against COVID-19. The CRA test has been demonstrated by researchers to be as sensitive as methods that already exist for detecting and measuring the activity of T cells using more than 200 blood samples taken from individuals.
How will the findings of this study on the impact of T cells on COVID-19 benefit the world?
According to the researchers, this discovery enables studies to monitor the activity of T-cells on a global scale to be expanded rapidly and on a large scale without the need for specialized or costly equipment. The study’s findings show that the presence of anti-SRAS-CoV-2 antibodies in blood samples does not always correspond to a T-cell response. Researchers may be able to use this quick test to help define correlations between antibodies and T-cell protection for the COVID-19 vaccine’s development.
This important study, according to Duke-NUS’ Senior Vice-Dean for Research, advances the comprehension of the immune response of the body during a critical period in the pandemic. The use of a well-established ARC assay to accelerate the assessment of T-cell reactions in patients inoculated or recovering from COVID, as demonstrated in this study, as we combat the threat of new and emerging variants, vaccination strategies will take on a new dimension.
To further develop this rapid SARS-CoV-2 T cell test for clinical use worldwide, Duke-NUS licensed the test to Hyris, a biotechnology company focused on innovation. Hyris will use its Hyris SystemTM to further develop the test.
What Our Patients Say
“This is my second visit to Merrion Fetal, I was very pleased on both occasions. Lovely quiet waiting room, appointment was on time. The 20-week scan is very detailed we enjoyed watching our baby on the large TV screen. We got some beautiful photos. The nurse was very pleasant and talked us through all the measurements and anatomy. I would highly recommend this scanning clinic.”
“I had the best experience at the Merrion Fetal Health clinic for my 20-week big scan. The staff were so friendly and so nice and the lovely lady who did my ultrasound scan was amazing. She was so thoroughgoing to absolutely everything and gave me such reassurance on how my baby was growing and developing. I would recommend any Mother to be to attend here if you are looking for a comfortable, reassuring and super pleasant experience.”
“Highly recommend! We had an early scan due to a little scare at the start of pregnancy and then another at 12 weeks to make sure all was good again. Helen who was scanning on both days was fantastic. We felt totally relaxed and un-rushed while she took her time finding the best angle of baby to get us the clearest pictures as keepsakes all while making sure everything was perfect with baby. She reassured us throughout and I can honestly say it was the best money we ever spent getting both scans done.
Please let Helen know we are 18 weeks now and flying along Highly recommend!
Midwife sonographer facilitated
Consultant Led, Centre of Medical Excellence
All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.
This website was formerly Merrion Fetal Health. The clinic has undergone a rebrand and is now known as Merrion Ultrasound.