T Cell Test Question
Hello, hoping someone can help me better understand the results of a positive T cell test.
I have an elderly relative who had a good run with COVID back in early 2020. No PCR tests were available then, but she had the classic symptoms, including a brutal dry cough that persisted for over a month. She got herself vaccinated March/April 2021 (Moderna).
She is considering the booster. I suggested a serology and the T-Detect test to see where she’s at before making that decision. The serological test was negative, and T cell was positive.
My question is what exactly to make of the positive T cell result? If the t cells derived from the actual infection and not the vaccination, I would feel comfortable telling her that she already has strong, durable immunity. But is this a safe assumption? My layman’s guess would be that the original robust memory cells are still there, and were not somehow snuffed out and replaced by a more limited vaccine-induced t cell. Whatever I tell her, I want it to be truthful.
From the T-Detect FAQ: “The clinical significance of a positive adaptive T cell immune response to SARS‑CoV‑2 result for individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine is unknown.”
Thank you. Any insight into this is greatly appreciated.
Early on in the vaccine campaign, I read a scientific paper that indicated that there was not a “strong CD4 and CD8 response to the vaccine” (ie, Pfizer mRNA vaccine). CD4 and CD8 cells are the B- and T-cells that give long term resistance to viruses and infections.
My guess is that your elderly relative developed her T-cell response from the Covid infection that you suspect she had. In that case (which I think is true), then any further boosters are not only unnecessary but potentially harmful.
T-cell response is strong and lasting. There is evidence that the mRNA vaccines do NOT make your body develop a strong T and B-cell response.
Also, if your relative did have Covid, she would also have resistance to the actual virus encapsulated in the “spike protein” coat, which is a better response than the vaccines create to just the spike protein.
In that case (which I think is true), then any further boosters are not only unnecessary but potentially harmful.
Thank you Unrepentant Cynic. Agree completely. I suggested the tests as a hail mary attempt to dissuade away from the boosters because she was dead set on getting it. wasn’t open to discussing spike proteins, waning immunity, etc.
But the tests piqued her curiosity about her own situation. and now that the results are in, she wants to know a little more about the science of it all. She is listening, which gives me the opening I need. Just want to be sure I give correct interpretation about the t cell result. If she was never vaccinated, it would be a very straightforward answer but the previous shots muddy things a bit.
Thanks again for the thoughtful reply.