Bamlanivimab therapy for acute COVID-19 does not blunt SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cell responses.


Despite the widespread use of SARS-CoV-2-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy for the treatment of acute COVID-19, the impact of this therapy on the development of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses has been unknown, resulting in uncertainty as to whether anti-SARS-CoV-2 mAb administration may result in failure to generate immune memory. Alternatively, it has been suggested that SARS-CoV-2-specific mAb may enhance adaptive immunity to SARS-CoV-2 via a "vaccinal effect." Bamlanivimab (Eli Lilly and Company) is a recombinant human IgG1 that was granted FDA emergency use authorization for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in those at high risk for progression to severe disease. Here, we compared SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses of 95 individuals from the ACTIV-2/A5401 clinical trial 28 days after treatment with bamlanivimab versus placebo. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses were evaluated using activation-induced marker assays in conjunction with intracellular cytokine staining. We demonstrate that most individuals with acute COVID-19 developed SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses. Overall, our findings suggest that the quantity and quality of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell memory were not diminished in individuals who received bamlanivimab for acute COVID-19. Receipt of bamlanivimab during acute COVID-19 neither diminished nor enhanced SARS-CoV-2-specific cellular immunity.