Publications & Posters

Immune checkpoint inhibitors increase T cell immunity during SARS-CoV-2 infection

Science Advances | August 18, 2021

Yatim N, Boussier J, Tetu P, Smith N, Bruel T, Charbit B, Barnabei L, Corneau A, Da Meda L, Allayous C, Baroudjian B, Jebali M, Herms F, Grzelak L, Staropoli I, Calmettes V, Hadjadj J, Peyrony O, Cassius C, LeGoff J, Kramkimel N, Aractingi S, Fontes M, Blanc C, Rieux-Laucat F, Schwartz O, Terrier B, Duffy D and Lebbé C

Sci Adv. 2021;7

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abg4081

This study was performed using Simoa Homebrew assay(s).


The COVID-19 pandemic has spread worldwide, yet the role of antiviral T cell immunity during infection and the contribution of immune checkpoints remain unclear. By prospectively following a cohort of 292 patients with melanoma, half of which treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), we identified 15 patients with acute or convalescent COVID-19 and investigated their transcriptomic, proteomic, and cellular profiles. We found that ICI treatment was not associated with severe COVID-19 and did not alter the induction of inflammatory and type I interferon responses. In-depth phenotyping demonstrated expansion of CD8 effector memory T cells, enhanced T cell activation, and impaired plasmablast induction in ICI-treated COVID-19 patients. The evaluation of specific adaptive immunity in convalescent patients showed higher spike (S), nucleoprotein (N), and membrane (M) antigen-specific T cell responses and similar induction of spike-specific antibody responses. Our findings provide evidence that ICI during COVID-19 enhanced T cell immunity without exacerbating inflammation.