Publication date: Jul 08, 2023
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) often causes persistent symptoms long after infection, referred to as “long COVID” or post-acute COVID-19 syndrome (PACS). This phenomenon has been studied primarily concerning B-cell immunity, while the involvement of T-cell immunity is still unclear. This retrospective study aimed to examine the relationship among the number of symptoms, cytokine levels, and the Enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) assay data in patients with COVID-19. To examine inflammatory conditions, plasma interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-18, chemokine ligand 9 (CXCL9), chemokine ligand 3 (CCL3), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels were analyzed using plasma obtained from COVID-19 recovery patients and healthy controls (HC). These levels were significantly higher in the COVID-19 group than those in the HC group. ELISPOT assays were performed to investigate the correlation between COVID-19 persistent symptoms and T-cell immunity. Cluster analysis of ELISPOT categorized COVID-19 recovery patients in the ELISPOT-high and -low groups, based on the values of S1, S2, and N. The number of persistent symptoms was significantly higher in the ELISPOT-low group than those in the ELISPOT-high group. Thus, T cell immunity is critical for the rapid elimination of COVID-19 persistent symptoms, and its measurement immediately after COVID-19 recovery might predict long-term COVID-19 or PACS.
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