Mild COVID-19 Induces Lasting Antibody Protection, Study Finds

Mild COVID-19 Induces Lasting Antibody Protection, Study Finds

The researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, US, noted that such cells could persist for a lifetime, churning out antibodies all the while
Coronavirus Outbreak, News, Swasth India
- in Coronavirus Outbreak, News, Swasth India
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Mild COVID-19 Induces Lasting Antibody Protection, Study FindsPeople who have had mild illness during COVID-19 develop antibody-producing cells that can last lifetime
Highlights
  • Antibody-producing cells found 11 months after first symptoms: Expert
  • It's normal for antibody levels to go down after acute infection: Expert
  • During viral infection, antibody-producing immune cells rapidly multiply

New Delhi: Months after recovering from mild cases of COVID-19, people still have immune cells which produce antibodies against the novel coronavirus, according to a study. The researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, US, noted that such cells could persist for a lifetime, churning out antibodies all the while.

The study, published on Monday (May 14) in the journal Nature, suggests that mild cases of COVID-19 leave those infected with lasting antibody protection and that repeated bouts of illness are likely to be uncommon.

Last fall, there were reports that antibodies wane quickly after infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, and mainstream media interpreted that to mean that immunity was not long-lived. But that’s a misinterpretation of the data. It’s normal for antibody levels to go down after acute infection, but they don’t go down to zero; they plateau, said senior author of the study Ali Ellebedy, an associate professor at Washington University School of Medicine.

The researchers found antibody-producing cells in people 11 months after first symptoms. These cells will live and produce antibodies for the rest of people’s lives, and that’s strong evidence for long-lasting immunity, they said.

Also Read: COVID-19 In India: Experts Say Pregnant Women At Greater Risk In The Second Wave Of COVID-19

During a viral infection, antibody-producing immune cells rapidly multiply and circulate in the blood, driving antibody levels sky-high. Once the infection is resolved, most such cells die off, and blood antibody levels drop. A small population of antibody-producing cells, called long-lived plasma cells, migrate to the bone marrow and settle in, the researchers said. In the bone marrow, these cells continually secrete low levels of antibodies into the bloodstream to help guard against another encounter with the virus, they said.

Mr. Ellebedy and colleagues were already working on a project to track antibody levels in blood samples from COVID-19 survivors. The team had enrolled 77 participants who were giving blood samples at three-month intervals starting about a month after initial infection. Most participants had had mild cases of COVID-19, only six had been hospitalised.

The researchers obtained bone marrow from 18 of the participants seven or eight months after their initial infections. Five of them came back four months later and provided a second bone marrow sample. For comparison, the scientists also obtained bone marrow from 11 people who had never had COVID-19.

They found that antibody levels in the blood of the COVID-19 participants dropped quickly in the first few months after infection and then mostly levelled off, with some antibodies detectable even 11 months after infection. Fifteen of the 19 bone marrow samples from people who had had COVID-19 contained antibody-producing cells specifically targeting the virus that causes COVID-19, the researchers said. Such cells could still be found four months later in the five people who came back to provide a second bone-marrow sample, they said.

According to the researchers, none of the 11 people who had never had COVID-19 had such antibody-producing cells in their bone marrow.

People with mild cases of COVID-19 clear the virus from their bodies two to three weeks after infection, so there would be no virus driving an active immune response seven or 11 months after infection. These cells are not dividing. They are quiescent, just sitting in the bone marrow and secreting antibodies. They have been doing that ever since the infection resolved, and they will continue doing that indefinitely, Mr. Ellebedy said.

Also Read: COVID-19 Could Become Like Common Cold In Future, Study Suggests

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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World

19,66,15,634Cases
6,33,31,644Active
12,90,85,240Recovered
41,98,750Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,66,15,634 and 41,98,750 have died; 6,33,31,644 are active cases and 12,90,85,240 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 4:07 am.

India

3,15,72,344 44,230Cases
4,05,155 1,315Active
3,07,43,972 42,360Recovered
4,23,217 555Deaths
In India, there are 3,15,72,344 confirmed cases including 4,23,217 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,05,155 and 3,07,43,972 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

62,90,156 7,242

81,933 3,980

60,75,888 11,032

1,32,335 190

Kerala

33,49,365 22,064

1,55,327 5,287

31,77,453 16,649

16,585 128

Karnataka

29,01,247 2,052

23,277 685

28,41,479 1,332

36,491 35

Tamil Nadu

25,55,664 1,859

21,207 314

25,00,434 2,145

34,023 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,62,049 2,107

21,279 280

19,27,438 1,807

13,332 20

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,373 60

784 16

16,84,834 44

22,755

West Bengal

15,26,539 766

11,300 70

14,97,116 822

18,123 14

Delhi

14,36,144 51

554 19

14,10,541 70

25,049

Chhattisgarh

10,01,781 130

2,086 140

9,86,175 270

13,520

Odisha

9,74,132 1,615

15,276 489

9,53,088 2,039

5,768 65

Rajasthan

9,53,622 17

259 9

9,44,410 26

8,953

Gujarat

8,24,829 27

268 6

8,14,485 33

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,796 18

130 0

7,81,153 18

10,513

Haryana

7,69,858 30

712 10

7,59,516 17

9,630 3

Bihar

7,24,719 46

481 1

7,14,596 42

9,642 3

Telangana

6,43,716 623

9,188 126

6,30,732 746

3,796 3

Punjab

5,99,005 58

553 6

5,82,162 60

16,290 4

Assam

5,64,030 1,299

14,114 385

5,44,695 1,664

5,221 20

Jharkhand

3,47,105 56

259 22

3,41,720 34

5,126

Uttarakhand

3,41,982 48

669 3

3,33,952 51

7,361

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,207 181

1,144 5

3,15,686 175

4,377 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,05,728 229

1,098 145

2,01,110 84

3,520

Goa

1,70,900 90

1,077 5

1,66,679 93

3,144 2

Puducherry

1,20,725 98

972 49

1,17,961 49

1,792

Manipur

96,824 1,000

10,895 27

84,408 1,016

1,521 11

Tripura

78,059 271

3,640 221

73,665 488

754 4

Meghalaya

63,745 731

5,750 294

56,933 423

1,062 14

Chandigarh

61,948 5

37 1

61,102 4

809

Arunachal Pradesh

47,477 335

4,252 49

43,000 383

225 1

Mizoram

37,171 764

11,862 252

25,168 511

141 1

Nagaland

27,653 67

1,299 51

25,798 114

556 4

Sikkim

26,132 276

3,297 180

22,498 92

337 4

Ladakh

20,324 4

60 4

20,057 8

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,643 1

36 5

10,603 6

4

Lakshadweep

10,162 7

70 6

10,042 13

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,534 3

10 3

7,395

129

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