T-cells are a key part of the adaptive immune system. They are activated in response to infection, and can kill viruses in the body. They also act to coordinate cytokines and immune cells to fight viruses and other foreign intruders, protecting the body from these threats and fighting off infection. A proportion of these T-cells remain in the body for many years after recovery, as memory cells, to protect the body if it was to come in contact with the same, or similar viruses in the future.
Each person has a unique immunological profile consisting of memory cells that have been built up over a lifetime of exposure to different viruses and immune threats throughout life, in addition to a mother’s exposure during pregnancy. Re-exposure to a virus or exposure to a similar virus can be recognised by the memory T-cells so that a rapid response can occur to neutralise the viral threat.
Function of the immune system is also dependent on other factors such as vaccination history, diet, lifestyle, age, genetic, environmental and disease factors. During the Covid-19 pandemic is was discovered that T-cells can provide protection from re-infection and serious disease long after the initial antibody responses in the body have disappeared. Moreover, the presence of T-cells to a specific virus can be used to check for prior infection and long-term vaccine efficacy.
People who recovered from SARS-Cov (the original Covid virus) 17 years ago still have protection through their T-Cells against SARS. These memory T-cells have been shown to protect against COVID-19, through cross-reactivity with the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus that caused the 2019 pandemic.
Viral threats to our health and lifestyle will never go away and are likely to become more prevalent than ever over the coming years. The risk of serious disease when there is a new outbreak is dependent on the level of adaptive immunity you have to the current viral threat. This immunity is built up by vaccination and exposure to previous similar viruses or variants. Until now it has been very difficult to tell if your immune system will react to, and provide protection from, a virus if you were to be exposed.
The ViraxImmune™ T-cell test in intended to let you test for immunity to a disease before you come in contact with it. Giving you the information you need to make informed decisions about social distancing, seeing vulnerable relatives, wearing PPE, travel and vaccination.
At ViraxImmune™, we want to encourage a move away from event driven diagnostics to pre-emptive assessments of immune risk. The ViraxImmune™ test will be a good step in this direction.