COVID-19 T-cell Immunity

Explore SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell Immunity

Scientists worldwide are working to understand the specific immune responses against the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, in order to design an efficient vaccine.

The best defense against the virus is to mount an immune response that comprises armies of specific cytotoxic CD8+ T cells to eliminate virus infected cells and helper CD4+ T cells to orchestrate humoral immunity, leading to an antibody response against the virus. Cytotoxic and helper T cells are both activated by recognition of virus fragments (peptide-epitopes) displayed by Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) present on the surface of antigen-presenting cells. Cytotoxic CD8+ T cells recognize virus epitopes presented by MHC I, while helper CD4+ T cells recognize virus epitopes presented by MHC II.

It has been confirmed that T-cell immunity plays an important role in recovery from SARS-CoV infection1,2,3. Understanding the specific T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2 is important for defining correlates of protective immunity and identifying effective vaccine antigens.

Measure SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell Immunity

Immudex provides MHC I and II Dextramer® reagents able to track COVID-19-specific T cells in blood of patients to evaluate vaccine and disease-induced virus-specific immune responses. The multiple copies of MHC-peptide complexes in the MHC Dextramer reagents ensure strong and specific binding to T-cell receptors on the surface of T cells, allowing identification of T cells, recognizing the virus. 

The MHC Dextramer technology allows researchers to directly evaluate whether the desired effect of their vaccine has been induced by measuring T-cell responses in blood of vaccinated individuals.

SARS-CoV-2-specific MHC Dextramer reagents can:

  • Monitor T-cell immunity in COVID-19 infected/vaccinated subjects
  • Assess the ability of vaccine candidates to elicit efficient T-cell responses in hosts
  • Facilitate SARS-CoV-2-specific epitope discovery 


Based on the protein sequences of SARS-CoV-2, several publications have identified predicted T-cell epitopes4,5,6. Immudex' COVID-19 products can be manufactured with any of the suggested T-cell epitopes. The immunological information about the virus continues to evolve, and more epitopes will be available in the future.

COVID-19 Specific Dextramer® Products:

  • MHC I and II Dextramer reagents

    Dextramer reagents,  comprising suggested SARS-CoV-2-epitopes based on publications, or provided by you, are available upon request. Immudex can easily manufacture customized reagents if the requested HLA-allele is available, and if the epitopes can form stable complexes with the MHC molecule. See available HLA-alleles here and contact us to evaluate the feasibility of your customized product. 
  • COVID-19 dCODE Dextramer panel

    Based on literature and internal research, Immudex has established an explorative panel of COVID-19-specific Dextramer reagents applicable in the search for useful T-cell epitopes and to gain a better understanding of COVID-19 immunity. The panel comprises epitopes from the SARS-CoV-2 antigens: Spike protein, Nucleocapsid protein, and Membrane protein and currently covers the most common MHC I alleles (HLA-A*0101, -A*0201, - A*0301 and - A*1101) and MHC II alleles (DRB1*0101, *0401 and *0701). More alleles will be added continuously.
  • Custom Dextramer solutions

    Dextramer and dCODE Dextramer reagents with your choice of SARS-CoV-2 epitope are available on request.  We also provide customer designed tools for epitope discovery and high throughput screening of large panels of virus-specific  dCODE Dextramer reagents, comprising candidate epitopes, allowing the screening of multiple T-cell specificities at the same time.

Please contact us today to hear more about our COVID-19-specific products, and let us help you find the best solution for your project.

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1. Channappanavar, R. et al. "Virus-Specific Memory CD8 T Cells Provide Substantial Protection from Lethal Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection". J. Virol. 88, 11034-11044 (2014).
2. Liu, W. J. et al. "T-cell immunity of SARS-CoV: Implications for vaccine development against MERS-CoV". Antivir. Res. Elsevier 137, 82-92 (2017).
3. Chen, H. et al. "Response of Memory CD8 + T Cells to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Coronavirus in Recovered SARS Patients and Healthy Individuals". J. Immunol. 175, 591-598 (2005).
4. Grifoni, A. et al. "A Sequence Homology and Bioinformatic Approach Can Predict Candidate Targets for Immune Responses to SARS-CoV-2". Cell Host & Microbe 27, 1-10 (2020)
5. Ahmed, S et al. "Preliminary identification of potential vaccine targets for the COVID-19 Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Based on SARS-CoV Immunological Studies". Viruses, 12(3), 254 (2020)
6. Immunitracks COVID-19 epitope report. Report listing epitopes from Corona virus stain COVID-19 susceptible to stimulate an immune response.

Our Technology

All our products are based on the following technologies:


dCODE® Technology

Klickmer™ Technology

Related Products

Use Klickmerto explore B-cell immunity.

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