Blog | HemaCare

SARS-CoV-2 Variants are Being Recognized by T Cells

May 18, 2021 10:05:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in T Cells, Vaccine Research


The COVID-19 vaccine uses T cells to recognize the virus, and researchers have found that the CD8+ T cells still recognize the different variants of the virus.

In the United States and abroad, there are reports of the emergence of mutations in SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in human populations. This phenomenon raises concerns regarding whether there is any protection provided by immunity developed to the first virus.

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Happy New Year! The Top Ten HemaCare Blogs of 2020

Dec 16, 2020 10:04:00 AM / by Nancy Andon, MSc posted in T Cells, NK Cells, Vaccine Research


Even as the New Year approaches, we are sure 2020 will never be forgotten!

The emergence of the COVID pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to all of us. At HemaCare we have been proud to see our cryopreserved leukopak products deliver timely aid to COVID-19 researchers by providing high-quality starting materials to a supply chain suddenly beset with disruptions. It comes as no surprise that several of the blogs in our “Top Ten” list are focused on COVID research carried out as scientists raced toward a vaccine.

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The University of Minnesota Investigates Using NK Cells to Fight Covid-19

Oct 27, 2020 10:52:23 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in NK Cells, Vaccine Research, Infectious Disease


Researchers at the University of Minnesota expand to clinical trials with natural killer cells against the novel coronavirus.

Natural killer (NK) cells are part of the innate immune system and function to recognize and disable virus-infected and tumor cells. NK cell-based immunotherapy is increasingly studied as a viable approach to treat solid tumors and hematological cancers. A collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Fate Therapeutics began clinical trials for a novel “off-the-shelf” targeted NK-cell based cancer immunotherapy (FT516) that uses induced pluripotent stem cells, adult stem cells reprogrammed to have the capacity to differentiate into any cell type.

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Oxford's COVID-19 Vaccine Produces a Strong Positive Immune Response in Early Results

Sep 8, 2020 10:06:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in T Cells, Vaccine Research


The University of Oxford conducted clinical trials on a possible vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 and the results produce a positive immune response. 

As the race for a COVID (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine forges ahead across the globe, some scientists are obtaining clinical trial results that suggest progress toward an effective vaccine. Results of clinical trials conducted by scientists at the University of Oxford suggest that their newly developed vaccine elicits expected immune responses with an acceptable safety profile. Two immunity responses, antibody production, and T cell response to infected cells were assessed in the clinical trial participants.

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T Cells Could Play a Protective Role Against COVID-19

Sep 1, 2020 10:02:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD posted in T Cells, Vaccine Research


New studies have found that people who have tested negative for COVID-19 antibodies, developed T cells instead in a response to their COVID-19 infections. 

When the body is infected with a pathogen such as a virus, it mounts a protective response through immune cells and the production of pathogen-specific antibodies. The antibodies remove the viruses before they can infect cells. Cytotoxic T cells kill infected cells via inflammatory mediators to prevent the function of the invading organism. In the case of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) clinical studies, patients have been found to recover from the viral infection without the development of antibodies to the virus. However, they did develop a T-cell response to COVID-19. Therefore, it is believed that people who are asymptomatic or have a mild illness can remove the virus via T cells.

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