The novel coronavirus has affected many countries, infecting roughly 96.2 million people across the globe. Of the 96 million individuals, about 53 million have recovered from this disease while nearly 2 million individuals have, sadly, succumbed to the deadly infection.
Researchers have been trying to figure out how long the immunity of an individual who recovered from the disease will last. A recent study by Rockefeller University researchers provides an answer to this, suggesting that individuals who recover from the coronavirus are protected against the deadly infection for about six months, and likely much longer.
The study’s findings provide strong evidence showing that the immune system remembers the infection and continues to provide better antibodies even after the infection has subsided. The researchers discovered that the antibodies that are produced months after the infection had waned demonstrated an added ability to obstruct SARS-CoV-2 as well as the mutated versions of this infection. The researchers also discovered that continued exposure of immune cells to the virus remnants that were found in the gut tissue led to the production of improved antibodies.
Based on these discoveries, researchers surmise that when individuals who have recovered from the infection encounters the virus again, their immune response would not only be more effective but would also be more rapid, thus preventing re-infection.
Prof. Michel C. Nussenzweig, the head of Rockefeller’s laboratory of molecular immunology, whose team has been studying the response of antibodies in coronavirus patients, explained that the type of immune response that had been observed during the study could potentially be used to offer protection from the virus for a while, which would allow an individual’s body to prepare an effective and fast response to the virus upon re-exposure.
In order to understand how the antibodies worked in SARS-CoV-2, Nussenzweig and his team observed the responses of antibodies in 87 participants: the first time one month after the participants had been infected with the virus and a second time six months later.
They discovered that while the antibodies could still be detected at the second timepoint, their numbers had decreased significantly. Laboratory experiments conducted demonstrated that the ability of the plasma samples extracted from a patient to wipe out the virus had declined by about five times.
The researchers also looked into the SARS-CoV-2 virus replicating some of its cells in small intestine, upper throat and lung tissue. To help with this, the team collaborated with former Rockefeller scientist Saurabh Mehandru, who has been studying intestinal tissue biopsies from individuals who had recovered from the coronavirus.
They found that of the 14 patients who had tests conducted on them, seven of them had the genetic material and proteins of SARS-CoV-2 in the cells that line their intestines. The team of researchers is planning on studying more patients in a bid to better understand the role these viral remnants play both in an individual’s immunity and the disease’s progression.
Away from Sars-Cov-2, chronic noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes have been taking a toll on communities, and many companies are taking steps to address the treatment needs of the affected people. An example is DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a company that has at least 51,000 active users of their smartphone-based digital solution that makes it easier for patients to make lasting lifestyle changes in order to lower the toll of their health conditions.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/DRIO
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