Tuesday, December 22, 2020

COVID immunity lasts up to 8 months, new data reveals



News Release 22-Dec-2020
Monash University


Australian researchers have revealed - for the first time - that people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus have immune memory to protect against reinfection for at least eight months.


The publication reveals the discovery that specific cells within the immune system called memory B cells, "remembers" infection by the virus, and if challenged again, through re-exposure to the virus, triggers a protective immune response through rapid production of protective antibodies.


As with other studies - looking only at the antibody response - the researchers found that antibodies against the virus started to drop off after 20 days post infection.

However - importantly - all patients continued to have memory B cells that recognised one of two components of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the spike and nucleocapsid proteins. These virus-specific memory B cells were stably present as far as eight months after infection.

According to Associate Professor van Zelm, the results give hope to the efficacy of any vaccine against the virus and also explains why there have been so few examples of genuine reinfection across the millions of those who have tested positive for the virus globally.


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