Björkander S, Du L, Zuo F, Ekström S, Wang Y, Wan H, Sherina N, Schoutens L, Andréll J, Andersson N, Georgelis A, Bergström A, Marcotte H, Kull I, Hammarström L, Melén E, Pan-Hammarström Q, BAMSE COVID-19 Study Group
J Allergy Clin Immunol - (-) - [2021-10-22; online 2021-10-22]
Young adults are now considered major spreaders of COVID-19 disease. Although most young individuals suffer from mild to moderate disease, there are concerns of long-term adverse health effects. The impact of COVID-19 disease and to which extent population-level immunity against SARS-CoV-2 exist in young adults remain unclear. To conduct a population-based study on humoral and cellular immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and explore COVID-19 disease characteristics in young adults. We invited participants from the Swedish BAMSE birth cohort (age 24-27 years) to take part in a COVID-19 follow-up. From 980 participants (October 2020-June 2021), we here present data on SARS-CoV-2 RBD-specific IgM, IgA and IgG titres measured by ELISA and on symptoms and epidemiological factors associated with seropositivity. Further, SARS-CoV-2-specific memory B- and T-cell responses were detected for a subpopulation (n=108) by ELISpot and Fluorospot. 28.4% of subjects were seropositive of which 18.4% were IgM single positive. One in seven seropositive subjects were asymptomatic. Seropositivity associated with use of public transport, but not with sex, asthma, rhinitis, IgE-sensitization, smoking or BMI. In a subset of representative samples, 20.7% and 35.0% had detectable SARS-CoV-2 specific B- and T-cell responses, respectively. B- and T-cell memory responses were clearly associated with seropositivity, but T-cell responses were also detected in 17.2% of seronegative subjects. Assessment of IgM and T-cell responses may improve population-based estimations of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The pronounced surge of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections among young adults should imply a continuation of the large-scale vaccination campaign.