In the spring of 2020, we and others hypothesized that T cells in COVID-19 patients may recognize identical protein fragments shared between the coronaviruses of the common cold and COVID-19 and thereby confer cross-virus immune memory. Here, we look at this issue by screening studies that, since that time, have experimentally addressed COVID-19 associated T cell specificities. Currently, the identical T cell epitope shared between COVID-19 and common cold coronaviruses most convincingly identified as immunogenic is the CD8 + T cell epitope VYIGDPAQL if presented by the MHC class I allele HLA-A*24:02. The HLA-A*24:02 allele is found in the majority of Japanese individuals and several indigenous populations in Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. In combination with histories of common cold infections, HLA-A*24:02 may affect their protection from COVID-19.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)