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Review

The Immune Response to SARS-CoV-2 and Variants of Concern

by 1,2, 3,4 and 1,2,4,*
1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
2
Vaccine Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand, Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, Wellington 6242, New Zealand
3
Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
4
Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Vernon Ward and John A. Taylor
Viruses 2021, 13(10), 1911; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13101911
Received: 16 August 2021 / Revised: 9 September 2021 / Accepted: 10 September 2021 / Published: 23 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Molecular Virology Research in New Zealand)
At the end of 2019 a newly emerged betacoronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of severe pneumonia, subsequently termed COVID-19, in a number of patients in Wuhan, China. Subsequently, SARS-CoV-2 rapidly spread globally, resulting in a pandemic that has to date infected over 200 million individuals and resulted in more than 4.3 million deaths. While SARS-CoV-2 results in severe disease in 13.8%, with increasing frequency of severe disease with age, over 80% of infections are asymptomatic or mild. The immune response is an important determinant of outcome following SARS-CoV-2 infection. While B cell and T cell responses are associated with control of infection and protection against subsequent challenge with SARS-CoV-2, failure to control viral replication and the resulting hyperinflammation are associated with severe COVID-19. Towards the end of 2020, several variants of concern emerged that demonstrate increased transmissibility and/or evasion of immune responses from prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. This article reviews what is known about the humoral and cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 and how mutation and structural/functional changes in the emerging variants of concern impact upon the immune protection from prior infection or vaccination. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; variants of concern; immune response; pandemic; vaccine SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; variants of concern; immune response; pandemic; vaccine
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MDPI and ACS Style

Torbati, E.; Krause, K.L.; Ussher, J.E. The Immune Response to SARS-CoV-2 and Variants of Concern. Viruses 2021, 13, 1911. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13101911

AMA Style

Torbati E, Krause KL, Ussher JE. The Immune Response to SARS-CoV-2 and Variants of Concern. Viruses. 2021; 13(10):1911. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13101911

Chicago/Turabian Style

Torbati, Elham, Kurt L. Krause, and James E. Ussher 2021. "The Immune Response to SARS-CoV-2 and Variants of Concern" Viruses 13, no. 10: 1911. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13101911

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