T Cells: Warriors of SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Trends in Immunology

P. de Candia, F. Prattichizzo, S. Garavelli, G. Matarese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Severe infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2 is characterized by massive cytokine release and T cell loss. The exaggerated host immune response, incapable of viral clearance, instead aggravates respiratory distress, as well as cardiac, and/or damage to other organs. The mortality pattern of SARS-CoV-2 infection, higher in older versus younger adults and almost absent in children, is possibly caused by the effects of age and pre-existing comorbidities on innate and adaptive immunity. Here, we speculate that the abnormal and excessive immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection partly depends on T cell immunological memory, which is more pronounced in adults compared with children, and may significantly contribute to immunopathology and massive collateral damage in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. © 2020 Elsevier Ltd
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-30
Number of pages13
JournalTrends Immunol.
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • age
  • cell loss
  • child
  • coronavirus disease 2019
  • cytokine storm
  • disease severity
  • effector cell
  • human
  • immune response
  • immunological memory
  • immunopathology
  • immunosenescence
  • infection prevention
  • lymphocytopenia
  • memory T lymphocyte
  • mortality rate
  • nonhuman
  • pandemic
  • regulatory T lymphocyte
  • Review
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
  • sex difference
  • T lymphocyte
  • adaptive immunity
  • biological model
  • cytology
  • immunology
  • innate immunity
  • metabolism
  • physiology
  • prevention and control
  • T lymphocyte subpopulation
  • virology
  • cytokine
  • Adaptive Immunity
  • COVID-19
  • Cytokines
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Models, Immunological
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets
  • T-Lymphocytes

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