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A preliminary study by scientists from South Africa suggests that most of the T-cell response against SARS-CoV-2 stimulated by vaccination or previous infections stands before the Omicron variantconfirmed one of its authors.
The investigation, led by specialists Catherine Riou and Wendy Burgers from the University of Cape Town (southwest), observed the response of “memory” T cells (which remember how to fight viruses) in 70 people inoculated with the Pfizer (two doses), Johnson & Johnson (one or two doses) or previously infected vaccines.
“We found that 70-80% of the response of CD4 and CD8 T cells to the spike (protein) was maintained throughout the study groups.“, Says the text of the research, which adds that the reaction is similar to that observed with the beta and delta variants,” despite the fact that Omicron contains considerably more mutations“.
These results “show” that most T cells stimulated by vaccination or infection are capable of cross-recognition of the omicron variant.
The response of the T cells, according to this, would be significantly less affected than the efficacy of the antibodies (both those provided by the original vaccine regimen and by natural infection), which is greatly diminished by mutations of Ómicron, based on studies done to date.
“The well-preserved immunity of T cells to Omicron probably contributes to protection against severe covid-19, which supports early clinical observations in South Africa, ”the text notes.
The investigation, initiated after the announcement of the identification of Ómicron by experts South Africans on November 25, was published as a preprint to be submitted to peer review by the scientific community this week, according to Wendy Burgers.
Its first results, however, had already been presented in mid-December at a symposium organized by the World Health Organization (WHO).
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