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Interviewer: Professor Klenerman,
thank you for
taking the time to record this
update on what we now know
about the immune system response
to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
What are some of the key points which have
been found in the immune system response
in COVID-19 infection
since your last interview?
Prof Klenerman: Hi, if we split
the immune response into two, so
the antibody response, and
the cellular immune response or
the T-cell response,
then maybe I'll address those in turn.
In terms of the antibody response it's
been an enormous effort to create tests
which can pick up antibodies.
People have been using those quite widely,
and the very first ones that came out at
the beginning, some of the stick-tests
were not very sensitive, and
people have worked hard
to improve on that.
So lots of different labs have created
individual assays, which allow people to
measure whether you've made antibodies
against particularly the spike-protein,
which is the big protein that
allows the virus to enter cells.
And those actually work very well in
individual labs, but there's always
an additional complication in trying to
make these into essentially a clinical
tool so that they work day in day out,
the same in every lab in the globe.
I think though it looks as if different
companies have created different
versions of a test, which all
actually perform reasonably well.
I mean, there will be small
differences between them, but
fundamentally they can
measure an immune response.
The difficulty for all the tests is,
what's the cut off?
That's much harder for
this virus than others,
because there is quite
a wide range of responses.