Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis Study Indicates COVID-19 Induces Long-Lasting Antibody Protection

Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis Study Indicates COVID-19 Induces Long-Lasting Antibody Protection

A recent study sponsored by Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis (WUSTL) and reported in the journal Nature finds that individuals recovering months later from mild cases of COVID-19 still have immune cells producing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19, and in fact, these cells could endure for a lifetime. The implication here is positive: that is, that once someone is infected with COVID-19, these antibodies should help protect that person, and reinfection could be uncommon. Led by senior author Ali Ellebedy, PhD, an associate professor of pathology & immunology of medicine and of molecular microbiology, the study team found antibodies in COVID-19 patients 11 months after the first symptoms.

Recently, Tamara Bhandari writing for WUSTL reminds all that “during a viral infection, antibody-producing immune cells rapidly multiply and circulate in the blood, driving antibody levels sky-high." She notes that as the patient heals, and the virus goes away, a majority of the cells dissipate while blood antibody concentrations decline. However, a residual amount of antibody-generating cells known as “long-lived plasma cells” actually make their way...

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