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Stories of some unlucky patients contracting COVID-19 twice sent the world into a tailspin over fears that immunity to the virus might not last. Yet a new research report has encouraging news.
A preprint study published Monday on the online server bioRxiv argues that people who develop immunity from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the disease COVID-19, may be able to remain immune for six months or longer. While previous studies have focused on aspects of how the human immune system responds to the virus — such as by analyzing protein components of the immune system or studying how antibodies respond to the virus — this new study researched a number of components of immune memory including B cells, T cells and antibodies.Advertisement:
The authors explain that “while immune memory is the source of long-term protective immunity, direct conclusions about protective immunity cannot 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.
With this caveat, the authors argued that because roughly 90% of the test subjects developed immune memory “consisting of at least three immunological compartments” …
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