University of Sussex
CCACTA-D-22-00671_R2 final[96].pdf (922.73 kB)

T-cell proliferation assay for the detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cells

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-20, 14:17 authored by Chang Chu, Anne Schönbrunn, Saban Elitok, Florian KernFlorian Kern, Karsten Schnatbaum, Holger Wenschuh, Kristin Klemm, Volker von Baehr, Bernhard K Krämer, Berthold Hocher
Both infection with and vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 trigger a complex B-cell and T-cell response. Methods for the analysis of the B-cell response are now well established. However, reliable methods for measuring the T-cell response are less well established and their usefulness in clinical settings still needs to be proven. Here, we have developed and validated a T-cell proliferation assay based on 3H thymidine incorporation. The assay is using SARS-CoV-2 derived peptide pools that cover the spike (S), the nucleocapsid (N) and the membrane (M) protein for stimulation. We have compared this novel SARS-CoV-2 lymphocyte transformation test (SARS-CoV-2 LTT) to an established ELISA assay detecting Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to the S1 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The study was carried out using blood samples from both vaccinated and infected health care workers as well as from a non-infected control group. Our novel SARS-CoV-2 LTT shows excellent discrimination of infected and/or vaccinated individuals versus unexposed controls, with the ROC analysis showing an area under the curve (AUC) of > 0.95. No false positives were recorded as all unexposed controls had a negative LTT result. When using peptide pools not only representing the S protein (found in all currently approved vaccines) but also the N and M proteins (not contained in the vast majority of vaccines), the novel SARS-CoV-2 LTT can also discriminate T-cell responses resulting from vaccination against those induced by infection.


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Clinica Chimica Acta







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  • Clinical and Experimental Medicine Publications

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