The impact of viral mutations on recognition by SARS-CoV-2 specific T-cells
de Silva T., Liu G., B Lindsey B., Dong D., Shah D., J. Mentzer A., Angyal A., Brown R., D. Parker M., Ying Z., Yao X., Turtle L., Dunachie S., K. Maini M., Ogg G., Knight J., Peng Y., Rowland-Jones S., Dong T., COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium None.
We identify amino acid variants within dominant SARS-CoV-2 T-cell epitopes by interrogating global sequence data. Several variants within nucleocapsid and ORF3a epitopes have arisen independently in multiple lineages and result in loss of recognition by epitope-specific T-cells assessed by IFN-γ and cytotoxic killing assays. These data demonstrate the potential for T-cell evasion and highlight the need for ongoing surveillance for variants capable of escaping T-cell as well as humoral immunity.