Effective presentation of antigens by HLA class I molecules to CD8+ T cells is required for viral elimination and generation of long-term immunological memory. In this study, we applied a single-cell, multi-omic technology to generate a unified ex vivo characterization of the CD8+ T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 across 4 major HLA class I alleles. We found that HLA genotype conditions key features of epitope specificity, TCR α/β sequence diversity, and the utilization of pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 reactive memory T cell pools. Single-cell transcriptomics revealed functionally diverse T cell phenotypes of SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells, associated with both disease stage and epitope specificity. Our results show that HLA variations significantly influence the CD8+ T cell repertoire shape and utilization of immune recall upon SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Allelic variation in class I HLA determines CD8+ T cell repertoire shape and cross-reactive memory responses to SARS-CoV-2