Circulating effector γδ T cell populations are associated with acute coronavirus disease 19 in unvaccinated individuals

Anouk von Borstel, Thi H.O. Nguyen, Louise C. Rowntree, Thomas M. Ashhurst, Lilith F. Allen, Lauren J. Howson, Natasha E. Holmes, Olivia C. Smibert, Jason A. Trubiano, Claire L. Gordon, Allen C. Cheng, Stephen J. Kent, Jamie Rossjohn, Katherine Kedzierska, Martin S. Davey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection causes severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a small proportion of infected individuals. The immune system plays an important role in the defense against SARS-CoV-2, but our understanding of the cellular immune parameters that contribute to severe COVID-19 disease is incomplete. Here, we show that populations of effector γδ T cells are associated with COVID-19 in unvaccinated patients with acute disease. We found that circulating CD27negCD45RA+CX3CR1+ Vδ1effector cells expressing Granzymes (Gzms) were enriched in COVID-19 patients with acute disease. Moreover, higher frequencies of GzmB+ Vδ2+ T cells were observed in acute COVID-19 patients. SARS-CoV-2 infection did not alter the γδ T cell receptor repertoire of either Vδ1+ or Vδ2+ subsets. Our work demonstrates an association between effector populations of γδ T cells and acute COVID-19 in unvaccinated individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-332
Number of pages12
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vδ1 T cells
  • Vδ2 T cells
  • γδ T cells

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