Memory B Cells and Memory T Cells Induced by SARS-CoV-2 Booster Vaccination or Infection Show Different Dynamics and Responsiveness to the Omicron Variant

Setsuko Mise-Omata, Mari Ikeda, Masaru Takeshita, Yoshifumi Uwamino, Masatoshi Wakui, Tomoko Arai, Ayumi Yoshifuji, Kensaku Murano, Haruhiko Siomi, Kensuke Nakagawara, Masaki Oyagi, Makoto Ando, Naoki Hasegawa, Hideyuki Saya, Mitsuru Murata, Koichi Fukunaga, Ho Namkoong, Xiuyuan Lu, Sho Yamasaki, Akihiko Yoshimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although the immunological memory produced by BNT162b2 vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been well studied and established, further information using different racial cohorts is necessary to understand the overall immunological response to vaccination. We evaluated memory B and T cell responses to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 spike protein before and after the third booster using a Japanese cohort. Although the Ab titer against the spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) decreased significantly 8 mo after the second vaccination, the number of memory B cells continued to increase, whereas the number of memory T cells decreased slowly. Memory B and T cells from unvaccinated infected patients showed similar kinetics. After the third vaccination, the Ab titer increased to the level of the second vaccination, and memory B cells increased at significantly higher levels before the booster, whereas memory T cells recovered close to the second vaccination levels. In memory T cells, the frequency of CXCR5+CXCR3+CCR62 circulating follicular Th1 was positively correlated with RBD-specific Ab-secreting B cells. For the response to variant RBDs, although 60-80% of memory B cells could bind to the omicron RBD, their avidity was low, whereas memory T cells show an equal response to the omicron spike. Thus, the persistent presence of memory B and T cells will quickly upregulate Ab production and T cell responses after omicron strain infection, which prevents severe illness and death due to coronavirus disease 2019.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2104-2113
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume209
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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