TWiV 657: Shane Crotty on SARS-CoV-2 immunity

August 27, 2020

Immunologist Shane Crotty joins TWiV to discuss the antibody and T cell responses to infection with SARS-CoV-2, followed by answers to listener questions.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit, Kathy Spindler, and Brianne Barker

Guest: Shane Crotty

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Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees

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10 comments on “TWiV 657: Shane Crotty on SARS-CoV-2 immunity

  1. I have a question regarding Crotty’s reluctance with the assumption that people can get sick from reinfection from the common cold coronaviruses every year (27:09). He argues that antibody titers remain for a long time in most people; how can we reconcile that with the few surveillance studies, notably Jeff Shaman (TWiV 607), which found reinfection after 7 months? Might it be something really rare or maybe the PCR evidence of common cold coronaviruses reinfection within a year is actually unrelated to the symptoms they self-reported (assymptomatic coronavirus infection + some other pathogen causing the symptoms)??

  2. Shane is a good example of how to use video conferencing tools. He devotes his complete attention to the camera, the conversation and speaks with his hands and face. Notably his computer screens are behind him – he is not distracted. This also shows the huge loss in the sacrifice of face to face encounters in a pandemic world.

    I will read his book. I might skip the interlude chapter. I get my Vincent fix often enough. Shane is the product of a very happy childhood it seems. Sign me up for that sort of experience.

    Definitive commentary as usual: six months to tell anything on immunity, rule of three on data points needed, must measure antibodies, helper and killer cells. This is very helpful in forming a reading intuition on how to approach this material.

    Shane is in the Stan Perlman and Linfa Wang cadre of deep scientists that TWiV has brought into my world – whose judgment is honed on hours of reading and thought. This is why I will have a very hard time giving up my TWiV time as things return to “normal”.


    • Wow! Just finished ‘Ahead of the Curve’.

      Not what I expected, I was not aware of the ‘Baltimore Affair’ at all. Hmm… I don’t know. I know I said I would skim over the chapter on Vincent… it was my favorite part.

      Given all that has gone down recently questioning privilege and inequality, Crotty and Baltimore share the gift of a generous, furtive and privileged early life. There are lessons to be learned from Baltimore’s life and choice for sure. It sounds from this show that Shane is living those lessons. What a gift to write this book so early in his career.

      There are some early pieces I would draw on to write up here… the Imanishi-Kari material is too overwhelming. Science is a human activity… warts and all.

      I can’t say how I feel, having just read that. I think it is the unexpectedness of that drama, the questions about science and government… this and the wholesale bending of scientific mission and will in the service of economy and privilege in the name of this pandemic… Wow… I wasn’t expecting this book at this time.

      I would have taken 5 minutes of Shane’s time to comment on government and science in light of what he wrote and knows Baltimore to be living.

      None of this came out in John Dingell’s eulogies either. There is a taint to those proceedings for me that I will have to read on to really garnish with any feeling. Now … it just brings up questions.

      The Baltimore scheme is the cornerstone of my learning since March, when virology was given main stage. Now, I really see the humanity behind the science. That is part of what I like about good science podcasting. and are two of my favorites for putting that humanity and vulnerability forward along with the science.

      I blather. I read the book. I finished it just now and wrote this down. First impressions are just that.


  3. Terry D. Doyle Aug 28, 2020

    Hi TWiV,
    On TWiV #657 Kathy mentioned a good representation on Michael MIna’s site showing graphically the infectious period. I went went looking but could only find his Harvard info. If Dr. Mina has a special site for rapid testing and showing why the rapid test singles out that part of Covid-19 disease path, maybe Vincent could find time to add that to #658 or some such. Plaudits on his black t-shirt with “The Cake Is A Lie” in white. Nice!

    Question: Vincent said he saw no evidence that Covid-19 was a disease of the lung endothelia b/c there were no images of the virus there. So?

    Devoted listener since covid started threatening me. You guys are the best!

  4. Robert Brent Brown Aug 29, 2020

    Love TwiV-not so much the politics. Vincent, really?: Most Republicans Say 176,000 Virus Deaths ‘Acceptable.’
    What if there was a poll taken on this?
    Likely: “Most Democrats Say 623,741 abortions are ‘Acceptable.'”

  5. Michael Arrighi Aug 29, 2020

    In today’s New York Time (at the top of the web page) is an article titled “Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be.” “””
    The reporters inteview Dr Michael Mina and the article is all about fast, frequent testing that may have a lower sensitivity. FYI, note specificity and sensivity are often inversely related. In addition, sensitivity in this situation does imply that all samples have an equal probability of being a false negative but that the likelihood of a false negative is related to smaller viral load.

    By the way, I am an epidemiologist and having been listening to TWIV prior to coronavirus, although my last 20 years was in Alzheimer’s disease. My spouse is a microbiologist and hasn’t listened to TWIV regularly for years.

    Keep up the good work.

  6. Richie Aug 30, 2020

    Be good, and if you can’t be good, be careful.

    You said in your podcast that there has to be an interface between science and society.

    You’re it, and you’re doing a fantastic job – thank you.

  7. Laura Oct 23, 2020

    Where do we find the Timestamps by Jolene?