Immunology of SARS-CoV-2 infections and vaccines

Dominik Schenten, Deepta Bhattacharya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections trigger viral RNA sensors such as TLR7 and RIG-I, thereby leading to production of type I interferon (IFN) and other inflammatory mediators. Expression of viral proteins in the context of this inflammation leads to stereotypical antigen-specific antibody and T cell responses that clear the virus. Immunity is then maintained through long-lived antibody-secreting plasma cells and by memory B and T cells that can initiate anamnestic responses. Each of these steps is consistent with prior knowledge of acute RNA virus infections. Yet there are certain concepts, while not entirely new, that have been resurrected by the biology of severe SARS-CoV-2 infections and deserve further attention. These include production of anti-IFN autoantibodies, early inflammatory processes that slow adaptive humoral immunity, immunodominance of antibody responses, and original antigenic sin. Moreover, multiple different vaccine platforms allow for comparisons of pathways that promote robust and durable adaptive immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Immunology
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages49
ISBN (Print)9780128245996
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in Immunology
ISSN (Print)0065-2776
ISSN (Electronic)1557-8445


  • Antibodies
  • B cells
  • COVID-19
  • Innate immunity
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • T cells
  • Vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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