T-cell responses induced by ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine to wild-type severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 among people with and without HIV in South Africa.
McMahon WC., Kwatra G., Izu A., Koen AL., Greffrath J., Fairlie L., Patel F., Mukendi CK., Mbele NJ., Lala R., Burgers WA., Nunes MC., Cutland CL., Gilbert SC., Lambe T., Pollard AJ., Madhi SA.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific T-cell responses 14 days after single-dose ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccination in black Africans with and without HIV in South Africa, as well as determine the effect of AZD1222 vaccination on cell-mediated immune responses in people with HIV (PWH) with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: A total of 70 HIV-uninfected people and 104 PWH were prospectively enrolled in the multicentre, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, phase Ib/IIa trial (COV005). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were collected from trial participants 14 days after receipt of first dose of study treatment (placebo or AZD1222 vaccine). T-cell responses against the full-length spike (FLS) glycoprotein of wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and mutated S-protein regions found in the Alpha, Beta and Delta variants were assessed using an ex-vivo ELISpot assay. RESULTS: Among AZD1222 recipients without preceding SARS-CoV-2 infection, T-cell responses to FLS of wild-type SARS-CoV-2 were similarly common in PWH and HIV-uninfected people (30/33, 90.9% vs. 16/21, 76.2%; P = 0.138); and magnitude of response was similar among responders (78 vs. 56 SFCs/106 PBMCs; P = 0.255). Among PWH, AZD1222 vaccinees with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, displayed a heightened T-cell response magnitude compared with those without prior infection (186 vs. 78 SFCs/106 PBMCs; P = 0.001); and similar response rate (14/14, 100% vs. 30/33, 90.9%; P = 0.244). CONCLUSION: Our results indicate comparable T-cell responses following AZD1222 vaccination in HIV-uninfected people and PWH on stable antiretroviral therapy. Our results additionally show that hybrid immunity acquired through SARS-CoV-2 infection and AZD1222 vaccination, induce a heightened T-cell response.