JUL 13, 2021 7:00 AM PDT

A Moment of COVID, A Lifetime of Immune Protection?

WRITTEN BY: Tara Fernandes

Does getting vaccinated, or having recovered from COVID, provide life-long protection against the coronavirus? Most likely, says research by immunologists at Washington University in St. Louis, who found antibody-producing cells against the virus residing in the bone marrow of individuals who had previously tested COVID-positive.

This discovery supports the theory that immune responses after exposure to SARS-CoV-2 are robust enough to confer sustained, potentially decades-long protection against the pathogen. In addition, this finding also indicates that vaccines may create a similarly durable shield against COVID in the long run.

Antibody-producing bone marrow plasma cells, or BMPCs, are among the body’s arsenal of immune weapons against invading pathogens, forming a part of what’s known as immunological memory. When the immune system comes across a microbiological threat that it has encountered previously, it launches a more rapid, aggressive, and targeted attack against the offending microbe the second time around.

Earlier studies had suggested that BMPC formation might not occur as effectively in COVID patients as it does in the case of other viral infections, meaning that those who have recovered from COVID may be at risk of reinfection.

However, a study led by BMPC expert Ali Ellebedy found the opposite to be true. The researchers’ analysis of samples obtained from 77 COVID-19 patients revealed that these individuals continued to produce antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 up to 11 months after infection. Additionally, 15 of the 18 bone marrow samples collected from these participants showed the presence of coronavirus-specific BMPCs at around a year after infection.

The scientists speculate that vaccines may elicit similar immunological responses, although the emergence of novel variants of SARS-CoV-2 may leave vaccinated individuals vulnerable and in need of “booster” shots for complete protection.

 

Source: NatureNature News.

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Interested in health technology and innovation.
You May Also Like
NOV 11, 2022
Immunology
Regenerating the Immune System to Halt Multiple Sclerosis
Regenerating the Immune System to Halt Multiple Sclerosis
A bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant has been an effective but risky way to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), and no ...
NOV 14, 2022
Cancer
Breast Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise as it Enters Phase 2 Trial
Breast Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise as it Enters Phase 2 Trial
About 20% of breast cancers exhibit elevated levels of a protein known as HER2.  You may have heard the classifier ...
NOV 28, 2022
Microbiology
A Vaccine to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections is in Development
A Vaccine to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections is in Development
New research has shown that a vaccine for the bacteria commonly associated with urinary tract infections works in animal ...
DEC 07, 2022
Immunology
A Mystery Solved - Why Colds & Flu Are More Common in Winter
A Mystery Solved - Why Colds & Flu Are More Common in Winter
Most people would agree that colds and especially flu infections are far more common in winter. While we know that some ...
DEC 21, 2022
Immunology
A Common Food Coloring May be Triggering Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
A Common Food Coloring May be Triggering Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Allura Red is an artificial food dye that is also called FD&C Red 40 or Food Red 17. It can be found in soft drinks, can ...
JAN 16, 2023
Cell & Molecular Biology
The First Cross-Species Signaling Pathway is Discovered
The First Cross-Species Signaling Pathway is Discovered
For the first time, a signaling pathway that links two species has been revealed - molecules generated when bacteria inf ...
Loading Comments...