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T cells are important in preventing severe disease from SARS-CoV-2, but scalable and field-adaptable alternatives to expert T-cell assays are needed. The interferon-gamma release assay QuantiFERON platform was developed to detect T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 from whole blood with relatively basic equipment and flexibility of processing timelines. Forty-eight participants with different infection and vaccination backgrounds were recruited. Whole blood samples were analysed using the QuantiFERON SARS-CoV-2 assay in parallel with the well-established 'Protective Immunity from T Cells in Healthcare workers' (PITCH) ELISpot, which can evaluate spike-specific T-cell responses. The primary aims of this cross-sectional observational cohort study were to establish if the QuantiFERON SARS-Co-V-2 assay could discern differences between specified groups and to assess the sensitivity of the assay compared with the PITCH ELISpot. The QuantiFERON SARS-CoV-2 distinguished acutely infected individuals (12-21 days post positive PCR) from naïve individuals (P 

Original publication




Journal article


Clinical and experimental immunology

Publication Date





249 - 261


Peter Medawar Building for Pathogen Research, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.


Humans, Antibodies, Viral, Vaccination, Cross-Sectional Studies, Interferon-gamma Release Tests, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2