Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 34407944
Link to DOI – eabg408110.1126/sciadv.abg4081
Sci Adv 2021 08; 7(34):
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread worldwide, yet the role of antiviral T cell immunity during infection and the contribution of immune checkpoints remain unclear. By prospectively following a cohort of 292 patients with melanoma, half of which treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), we identified 15 patients with acute or convalescent COVID-19 and investigated their transcriptomic, proteomic, and cellular profiles. We found that ICI treatment was not associated with severe COVID-19 and did not alter the induction of inflammatory and type I interferon responses. In-depth phenotyping demonstrated expansion of CD8 effector memory T cells, enhanced T cell activation, and impaired plasmablast induction in ICI-treated COVID-19 patients. The evaluation of specific adaptive immunity in convalescent patients showed higher spike (S), nucleoprotein (N), and membrane (M) antigen-specific T cell responses and similar induction of spike-specific antibody responses. Our findings provide evidence that ICI during COVID-19 enhanced T cell immunity without exacerbating inflammation.