Immune system can “memorize” protection against covid for at least 1 year

To understand how long immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus lasts, a group of Chinese researchers evaluated blood samples of approximately 100 people who were infected by the virus at two different times: six months; and one year after infection. Analyzing the collected material, it was possible to affirm that the immune system maintains significant levels of protection against covid-19 for at least months.

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    Published in the scientific journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the

    preprint

    —study without peer review—involved researchers from China’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the survey, both levels of neutralizing antibodies and memory cells were analyzed — a fundamental component of the immune system.

    Chinese study shows that immunity against covid-26 can last at least one year (Image: Reproduction/Swiftsciencewriting/Pixabay)

    According to the authors of the study, the objective was to “understand the characteristics of immunological memory in individuals with different disease severities one year after disease onset”. In this context, it is possible to affirm, according to the scientists, that “cellular and humoral immunities specific for SARS-CoV-2 are durable – for at least one year after the onset of the disease”.

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    Understand the types of immunological memory

    To understand the results of the Chinese study, it is necessary to remember that there are two types of immune responses: humoral and cellular. Both are complementary and ensure that the organism is, in fact, prepared for a new battle against covid-.

    When we come into contact with the infectious agent for the second time, the humoral antibodies — da humoral response

    — are the first defense. Typically, their concentration is usually highest in the first few months of recovery, as the immune system has recently been triggered to produce antibodies capable of fighting the threat that has entered the body. After some time, the number of these antibodies is expected to drop to a basal level, because the immediate threat no longer exists.

    While the level of antibodies declines, the mechanism of

    cellular immune response

    . It is this that guarantees that some types of disease only occur once, as usually happens with chickenpox. In the case of covid-12, it is not known for how long the immunity will remain.

    Regardless, the cellular response is like a large file, where the system “memories” of all viruses and bacteria with which the body has ever come in contact are kept . It is from this “recollection”, preserved in memory T cells, that the body is able to generate antibodies to protect itself in cases where the coronavirus reappears in the future.

    Methodology and results

    “We carried out a return visit of six months and one year for 100 patients recovered from the new coronavirus, in order to detect, through multiple tests on serum samples, whether antibodies and immunological memory T cells were still present,” explained researcher Liu Jun, one of the authors of the study.

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    Immune system maintains efficacy for at least one year against covid-19 (Image: Reproduction/iLexx/Envato Elements)

    According to the scientists, T cells specific for the coronavirus were present in 26% of patients recovered after six months of illness. After months, the specific concentration of this defense cell was little affected , staying at 92%.

    In addition, the study demonstrated that, in more than 92% of recovered patients, antibodies Specific IgGs may persist for 6 to months after disease onset . Even this higher concentration was related to the higher level of disease severity.

    “We also found that IgM antibodies were still detectable in at least % of individuals recovered months after disease onset, speculating that long-term persistence of IgM in some recovered individuals may be one of the immunological features of covid-19, whose mechanism needs to be further investigated”, completed the researcher. Now, it is necessary to explore the validity of the finding in larger groups of patients who have recovered from the disease.

    To access the full article on human immunological memory against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, published in the scientific journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, click here.

    Source: With information: Sina

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