Moscow. A team of researchers has assessed the effectiveness of the T-cell immune response on 11 variants of SARS-CoV-2 and used their results to develop the T-cell COVID-19 Atlas Portal (T-CoV). . The findings, published in the journal Nucleic Acid Research, suggest that the continued emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 mutations may allow the virus to spread more effectively and evade antibodies.
However, it is unclear whether the new strains are able to elicit T-cell immunity, one of the body’s main lines of defense against COVID-19, said the researchers, according to Stephen Narcissian, Biology & Biotechnology Faculty of Technology, includes HSE University in Moscow, Russia.
The development of the T-cell immune response is largely controlled by genetic factors, including changes in genes for the major histocompatibility complex (HLA), the researchers said.
They added to the findings that all HLA gene variants carry a corresponding molecule that identifies a specific set of peptides (proteins) of the virus. There are a large number of such gene variations and each individual has a unique set of them.
The effectiveness of developing T-cell immunity to COVID-19 strains varies from person to person. Depending on the set of HLA molecules, the immune system of some people will recognize and destroy a mutated virus with the same efficacy as they would the base form of the virus. However, in others, the response is less effective.
For the study, the team assessed the genetic characteristics of the development of T-cell immunity in 11 main SARS-CoV-2 variants by analyzing the most common HLA gene variants.
Researchers used bioinformatics to assess the binding affinities of hundreds of HLA molecule variations and thousands of virus peptides to key SARS-CoV-2 variants (alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota, kappa and lambda). used science.
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