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Abstract Objective: Obesity and type 2 diabetes (DM) are risk factors for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outcomes, which disproportionately affect South Asian populations. This study aims to investigate the humoral and cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 in adult COVID-19 survivors with overweight/obesity (Ov/Ob, BMI ≥ 23 kg/m2) and DM in Bangladesh. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody and T-cell responses were investigated in 63 healthy and 75 PCR-confirmed COVID-19 recovered individuals in Bangladesh, during the pre-vaccination first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Results: In COVID-19 survivors, SARS-CoV-2 infection induced robust antibody and T-cell responses, which correlated with disease severity. After adjusting for age, sex, DM status, disease severity, and time since onset of symptoms, Ov/Ob was associated with decreased neutralizing antibody titers, and increased SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific IFN-γ response along with increased proliferation and IL-2 production by CD8 + T cells. In contrast, DM was not associated with SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody and T-cell responses after adjustment for obesity and other confounders. Conclusion: Ov/Ob is associated with lower neutralizing antibody levels and higher T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 post-COVID-19 recovery, while antibody or T-cell responses remain unaltered in DM.

Original publication





Clinical and Experimental Immunology


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date