Health Care

Protective Immunity Against COVID-19 May Last For Over 8 Months

Protective Immunity Against COVID-19 May Last For Over 8 Months”

LA JOLLA-New data suggest that almost all COVID-19 survivors have the immune cells necessary to fight re-infection.

But more importantly, they had robust levels of memory B cells, which create antibodies.

Angulo, D.V.M., Ph.D., from Pfizer Vaccines in Portland, Oregon, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study to estimate the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections, symptomatic infections, hospitalizations, and deaths as of November 15, 2020, in the United States. Some feared that this decline in antibodies meant that the body wouldn't be equipped to defend itself against reinfection.

"Of course, the immune response decreases over time to a certain extent, but that " s normal", he noted. Scientists are still trying to figure out how these immune responses in the body translate to protection in the real world. "They have a first phase of ramping up, and after that fantastic expansion, eventually the immune response contracts somewhat and gets to a steady state", Sette was quoted as saying.

The team of 43 researchers reported clinical, viral, imaging, immunological and histopathological (tissue examination) findings during SARS-CoV-2 infection/COVID-19 disease in all three species of NHPs. T cells, meanwhile, showed only a slight decay in the body. If a person encounters SARS-CoV-2 again, these memory B cells could reactivate and produce SARS-CoV-2 antibodies to fight re-infection. This assay design is intended for use in laboratories with biocontainment level 2 and therefore circumvents the need for the biocontainment level 3 that would be required for replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Crotty said they will continue to track the participants in the study to see if they still have the same levels of B cell counts at 12 and 18 months after infection.

Based on outcomes, the researchers recommended use of the macaque as a model to help develop vaccines, while the baboon showed greater disease development, making it a potential option for evaluating antiviral therapeutics and co-morbidities, such as understanding the connection between COVID-19 and diabetes or COVID-19 and heart disease.

The virus is also known to affect the sense of smell in many patients and it is thought it does this because the olfactory bulb in the brain which controls smell is rife with ACE2, the receptor which the virus latches onto in order to infect human cells.

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"This implies that there's a good chance people would have protective immunity, at least against serious disease, for that period of time, and probably well beyond that", says Crotty.

"Immunity varies from person to person, and uncommon individuals with weak immune memory still may be susceptible to reinfection", he said. In fact, the researchers saw a 100-fold range in the magnitude of immune memory. A new study looking in detail at the brains of those who have died after infection has identified signs of damage but no obvious signs of viral spread. "That's what immune responses do".

"It is possible that immune memory will be similarly long lasting similar following vaccination, but we will have to wait until the data come in to be able to tell for sure", says Weiskopf.

( National Institutes of Health released the following article: NIH study uncovers blood vessel damage and inflammation in COVID-19 patients' brains but no infection.

They examined post-mortem brain tissue samples from 16 patients in New York City and from three patients in Iowa City who had died between March and July 2020 and tested positive for COVID-19 before or after death.

"We are also doing very detailed analyses at a much, much higher granularity on what pieces of the virus are recognized", says Sette.

This triggered an obvious immune response.

The team is also working to understand how immune memory differs across people of different ages and how that may influence COVID-19 case severity. RBD is the target of most neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

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