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Association of Spike-Specific T Cells With Relative Protection From Subsequent SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Infection in Young Children

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

Recent studies highlighted a protective role for preexisting T-cell responses against subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection in exposed adults.1,2 Protection is associated with response against nonstructural,1,2 or nonspike, structural proteins.1 Responses against spike protein, the immunogen used in most current vaccines, have not been assessed.

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Article Information

Accepted for Publication: July 13, 2022.

Published Online: October 24, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.3868

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2022 Dowell AC et al. JAMA Pediatrics.

Corresponding Author: Alexander C. Dowell, PhD, Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom (a.c.dowell@bham.ac.uk); Shamez Ladhani, MD, Immunisation and Countermeasures Division, Public Health England Colindale, London NW9 5EQ, United Kingdom (shamez.ladhani@phe.gov.uk).

Author Contributions: Dr Dowell had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Drs Moss and Ladhani served as co-senior authors and contributed equally to the work.

Concept and design: Dowell, Ladhani.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.

Drafting of the manuscript: Dowell, Moss, Ladhani.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Ireland, Zuo, Ladhani.

Statistical analysis: Dowell, Moss.

Obtained funding: Moss, Ladhani.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Ireland, Zuo, Moss.

Supervision: Moss, Ladhani.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Funding/Support: This study was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and grant MR/V028448/1 (Dr Moss) from the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium.

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funder had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

sKIDs Investigation Team: Shazaad Ahmad, MRCPath (Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, UK); Felicity Aiano, MSc (Immunisation and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Division, UK Health Security Agency, London, United Kingdom); Gayatri Amirthalingam, MFP (Immunisation and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Division, UK Health Security Agency, London, United Kingdom); Frances Baawuah, MRCP (Immunisation and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Division, UK Health Security Agency, London, United Kingdom); Joanne Beckmann, MRCPCH(UK) (East London NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom); Andrew J. Brent, FRCP (Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University of Oxford, United Kingdom); Bernadette Brent, MD (Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University of Oxford, United Kingdom); Kevin E. Brown, FRCPath (Immunisation and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Division, UK Health Security Agency, London, United Kingdom); Joanna Garstang, MBCHB (Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, United Kingdom); Ifeanyichukwu O. Okike, PhD, FRCPCH (UK) (Derbyshire Children’s Hospital [University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust], Derby, United Kingdom); Mary E. Ramsay, FFPH (Immunisation and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Division, UK Health Security Agency, London, United Kingdom).

Additional Contributions: The authors thank the sKIDs Investigation Team, schools, headteachers, staff, families, and especially the very brave children who took part in the sKIDs surveillance study.

References
1.
Kundu  R , Narean  JS , Wang  L ,  et al.  Cross-reactive memory T cells associate with protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in COVID-19 contacts.   Nat Commun. 2022;13(1):80. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27674-x PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
2.
Swadling  L , Diniz  MO , Schmidt  NM ,  et al; COVIDsortium Investigators.  Pre-existing polymerase-specific T cells expand in abortive seronegative SARS-CoV-2.   Nature. 2022;601(7891):110-117. doi:10.1038/s41586-021-04186-8 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
Geurts van Kessel  CH , Geers  D , Schmitz  KS ,  et al.  Divergent SARS-CoV-2 Omicron-reactive T and B cell responses in COVID-19 vaccine recipients.   Sci Immunol. 2022;7(69):eabo2202. doi:10.1126/sciimmunol.abo2202 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
4.
Dowell  AC , Butler  MS , Jinks  E ,  et al.  Children develop robust and sustained cross-reactive spike-specific immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection.   Nat Immunol. 2022;23(1):40-49. doi:10.1038/s41590-021-01089-8 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
5.
Dorabawila  V , Hoefer  D , Bauer  UE , Bassett  M , Lutterloh  E , Rosenberg  ES .  Risk of infection and hospitalization among vaccinated and unvaccinated children and adolescents in New York after the emergence of the Omicron variant.   JAMA. 2022;327(22):2242-2244. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.7319Google ScholarCrossref
6.
Walter  EB , Talaat  KR , Sabharwal  C ,  et al; C4591007 Clinical Trial Group.  Evaluation of the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 to 11 years of age.   N Engl J Med. 2022;386(1):35-46. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2116298 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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