Research reveals T-cell abnormalities in severe COVID-19 cases

23 Novembre, 2020, 05:23 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Infectiousness Covid patients Covid-19 coronavirus

Earlier this month a Research from the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC), Public Health England and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust indicated that a robust cellular (T cell) immunity against SARS-CoV-2 is likely to be present within most adults six months after primary infection.

The authors explain that "while immune memory is the source of long-term protective immunity, direct conclusions about protective immunity can not be made on the basis of quantifying" the areas of the immune system components they had studied because scientists know very little about the "mechanisms of protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19" in human beings.

This is the most comprehensive study of these three respiratory coronaviruses to date, but the authors acknowledge some limitations.

One of these studies, for instance, found that antibody levels "waned quite rapidly" after infection in the British population, suggesting a risk of multiple infections, Health24 reported.

Another recent study highlighted the importance of T cells response as they were detected in individuals who contracted SARS 17 years after the initial infection, according to the study.

Existing research says that people with COVID-19 may be contagious anywhere between two to three days before symptoms surface, and that they may be most likely to spread the virus during the 48 hours before exhibiting symptoms, Harvard Medical School experts say.

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"It provides a clear explanation for why SARS-CoV-2 spreads more efficiently than SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV and is so much more hard to contain", Cevik added.

It is to be noted that there have been reports of isolated cases of re-infection with COVID-19 which raised serious concerns among the people about immunity being short-lived, and patients contracting COVID-19 swiftly after the first infection.

In other words, there was a very slow rate of decline of these cells, demonstrating that they persist in the body for a very long time. The results of this study have led scientists to be hopeful that studying antibodies may be largely beneficial in an effort to develop drugs to prevent or treat Covid-19.

Lead investigators and authors of the study Katie Jeffery and David Eyre said the results were cause for cautious optimism, and the researchers will continue to monitor staff to see how long protection lasts. While there have been no confirmations on how long the immunity will last, the new finding has come as a ray of hope.

Seventy-nine of those studies focused on COVID-19. What if we don't find a vaccine for Covid-19?


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