As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, several vaccines are undergoing clinical trials. However, the current evidence shows that T cell immunity is necessary to provide robust and durable protection against reinfection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This means that the epitopes specific to the virus which are capable of eliciting this type of response across the most significant number of people need to be identified.
A new study by researchers at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and published on the preprint server bioRxiv* in August 2020 collates the available database of SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes gathered from 8 studies of COVID-19 patients who recovered. This could serve as a launchpad to fill in knowledge gaps regarding the immunological aspects of this disease, and drive towards an effective T cell vaccine.