Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments
A preprint, an unpublished non-peer reviewed study, posted on bioRxiv looks at immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2 over six months after infection.
Prof Lawrence Young, Professor of Molecular Oncology, University of Warwick, said:
“Understanding the dynamics and longevity of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 is crucial to determining whether herd immunity is possible and how any vaccine might provide long-term protection from COVID-19. This study provides a detailed examination of both antibody and T cell-mediated responses to the virus. It shows that the majority of infected individuals maintain neutralising antibody responses for more than six months after the onset of symptoms. This observation is supported by the demonstration that antibody-producing B cells increase over the six month period while T cell responses decline.
“Overall, this is an important study confirming the existence of immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 but with a degree of variation from person to person. This variation might be due to some individuals having had very low-level asymptomatic infection. It might be expected that those previously infected individuals with a low immune memory response would be susceptible to re-infection with SARS-CoV-2. But the significant take home message is that the immune response to the virus is more long-lived than previously thought, and this lets us continue to hold hope that an effective vaccine will be able to induce sustained protective immunity.”
‘Immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2 assessed for greater than six months after infection’ by Jennifer M. Dan et al. was uploaded to bioRxiv on 16th November 2020.
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