Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

COVID-19

Cross-reactive tissue-resident CD8+ T cells may provide first line of defence against SARS-CoV-2

Subjects

Cross-reactive CD4+ T cells, likely induced by common cold coronavirus infections, are detected in 20–50% of peripheral blood samples from SARS-CoV-2 unexposed individuals. However, cross-reactive CD8+ T cells are rarely detected in these samples. To study whether this may be because CD8+ memory T cells are mostly located in tissues, Niessl at al. examined peripheral blood and tonsillar tissue samples from pre-2019. Indeed, they detected SARS-CoV-2 reactive CD8+ memory T cells in 32% of tissue samples. Cross-reactive CD4+ cells were detected at similar levels in blood and tissue, whereas cross-reactive memory CD8+ T cells were largely absent in matched blood samples. Tissue-resident cross-reactive CD8+ memory T cells displayed markers of follicular homing and tissue residency, and the authors speculate that these may enable rapid sentinel immune responses to SARS-CoV-2.

References

Original article

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alexandra Flemming.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Flemming, A. Cross-reactive tissue-resident CD8+ T cells may provide first line of defence against SARS-CoV-2. Nat Rev Immunol 21, 693 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-021-00638-4

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-021-00638-4

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing