Scientists specify the duration of immunity against Covid-19


People who have recovered from Covid-19 retain antibodies for at least eight months after convalescence, according to the results of a new study devoted to the immune response to this disease, pre-published on the bioRxiv website.

Immunity to Covid-19 can last eight months or more after the first infection, experts from California’s La Jolla Institute of Immunology say in their pre-published study on the bioRxiv website.

The researchers took several blood samples from 185 people, aged 19 to 81, who had contracted Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic. They analyzed four components of the immune system: antibodies, B cells, which can produce more antibodies when needed, and two types of T cells.

Antibodies have been shown to persist, showing a slight decline even six to eight months after infection. At the same time, the decay of T cells is very slow, while the number of B cells is even increased.

The body has been able to recognize Covid-19 for years

B cells will maintain immune memory and allow the body to recognize Covid-19 for several years, even when antibodies are no longer detected in patients’ blood, the researchers say.

“This immune memory would likely allow many people to avoid hospitalization or become seriously ill for many years,” said Shane Crotty, a virologist at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology and one of the co-authors of the study cited by the New York Times.

This would be the first research to assess the immune response so comprehensively. This study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, links to another recent discovery: Survivors of SARS, caused by another coronavirus, still carry some essential immune cells 17 years after recovery, the New York Times says.

Previously, immunologists in the United States and Canada had estimated that the body produced specific antibodies for at least three months after Covid-19 infection.


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