AIRRC6 – Keynote: Adaptive immunity and memory to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 RNA vaccines (S. Crotty)

AIRRC6 – Keynote: Adaptive immunity and memory to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 RNA vaccines (S. Crotty)

Biomedical Science Session – May 19th, 2022
Keynote – Understanding adaptive immunity and immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 RNA vaccines, with lessons for vaccines against other pathogens
Shane Crotty. Professor. La Jolla Institute for Immunology (USA)
Introduction by Christian Busse (German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ))

We assessed acute and memory T cell, antibody, and memory B cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 infections and vaccines. Understanding immune memory to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is critical for improving diagnostics and vaccines and for assessing the likely future course of the COVID-19 pandemic. After studying acute immune responses to COVID-19 (Grifoni et al. Cell 2020), we analyzed multiple compartments of circulating immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 from 188 COVID-19 cases over 8 months, including memory B cells, antibodies, CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells (Dan et al., Science, Jan 2021). Most recently, we assessed humoral and cellular immune memory to four COVID-19 vaccines, representing diverse vaccine platforms, including head-to-head comparisons of CD4 T cell (including Tfh), CD8 T cell, B cell, and antibody responses. The results of these detailed immunological evaluations may also be relevant for vaccine design insights against other pathogens. Notably, HIV vaccine development focused on generation of broadly neutralizing antibodies is heavily dependent on B cell biology, germinal centers, affinity maturation, B cell memory, and challenges of rare precursor frequencies and immunodominance. These topics will be discussed.

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