Coronavirus immunity can last for at least 5 months and maybe more, as per recent research. These new findings may seem contradictory to another research conducted by scientists in the UK this week, according to which coronavirus antibodies decrease very rapidly when a person recovers from the virus. But it is not really that contradictory because researchers believe that there is more than one wave of infection control within a human body.
A human body in response to an infection creates loads of immune compounds and some of them die off quickly, while others build up slowly and stay for long. The British study that showed decreasing antibodies in the months immediately after infection may have measured the first wave of the infection control because in the background there is a 2nd team working. The new report which was published on Wednesday showed that every 90 in 100 people who successfully recovered from the virus showed a firm antibody response.
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A professor of vaccinology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and who also led the study Florian Krammer said that although there are reports claiming that coronavirus immunity vanishes quickly, his team has found the opposite, they have found that more than 90 in 100 people who were moderately or mildly infected had an antibody response that was powerful enough to defeat the virus, and this response stayed for many months. This information according to Krammer is very important for effectively developing the vaccine.
The researchers studied the coronavirus immunity in more than 30,000 patients who were tested positive for the virus at Mount Sinai’s Health System between the months of March and October. They categorized the antibody responses as high, moderate, or low. They found that more than 900 in 1000 people showed high to moderate levels of the antibodies to spike protein of the coronavirus. Spike protein is the structure the virus uses to grab the cells that the virus infects.
The team of researchers then closely monitored 121 people who had recovered from the virus and also donated their convalescent plasma, initially three months after they first showed the symptoms and secondly again after five months. The team found that there was some drop-off in the coronavirus immunity as some of the antibodies decreased but some other antibodies persisted, the researchers reported in the journal Science.
The human body’s immune system does not only muster the antibodies for protection against any infection but the antibodies only act as an essential first line of defense. According to the team, the study doesn’t provide any conclusive evidence that the antibody responses will protect from reinfection, but there is a strong possibility that they decrease the chances of reinfection.
Coronavirus has not been around for a year yet, so scientists are still studying it. There are some stories about people getting reinfection but they are unreliable and very rare. It would be much easier of getting rid of the epidemic if people who have recovered from the virus developed permanent immunity as with some other viruses like measles and smallpox, as once a person gets infected, he gets sterilizing immunity meaning he becomes immune for as long as he lives.