SARS-CoV-2 antibodies confer permanent COVID-19 immunity

Deepa Bhattacharya, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Immunobiology at Uri Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, prepared to take blood in an antibody test that she helped develop. Credit: University of Arizona Health Sciences, Chris Hanning

One of the most important questions about the novel coronovirus is whether those who are infected are immune from reincarnation and if so, for how long.

To determine the answer, researchers at the University of Arizona Health Sciences studied antibody production from a sample of about 6,000 people and found that immunity persists for at least several months after infection. SARS-CoV-2Virus causes COVID-19.

“We clearly see high-quality antibodies, which are still occurring five to seven months after SARS-CoV-2 infection,” Deepa Bhattacharya, PhD, Associate Professor, Uriarijona College of Medicine – Tucson, Department of Immunobiology he said. “Many concerns have been expressed about immunity against COVID-19 which is not sustainable. We used this study to investigate that question and found that immunity is stable for at least five months. ”

The resulting paper, “Orthogonal SARS-CoV-2 serological assessments enable monitoring of low prevalence communities and reveal durable humoral immunity,” was published today (October 13, 2020) in the journal Immunity. Dr. Bhattacharya and Janko Nikolaich-Jugich, MD, PhD, Professor and Head of the Department of Immunobiology, led the research team.

When a virus infects cells for the first time, the immune system is short-lived. Plasma Cells that produce antibodies immediately fight the virus. Those antibodies appear in blood antibodies within 14 days of infection.

The second phase of the immune response is the formation of long-lived plasma cells, which produce high-quality antibodies that provide permanent immunity. DRS. Bhattacharya and Nikolaich-Jugich tracked antibody levels over several months, which tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 antibody. They found that SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are present in blood tests at a viable level for at least five to seven months, although they believe immunity lasts for a very long time.

Michael D., Senior Vice President of Health Sciences, UAri Arizona. Deke, who is a co-author on the paper, stated whether antibodies provide antibodies permanent protection against SARS-CoV-2, which is one of the most difficult questions to answer. “This research has not only given us the ability to properly test antibodies to COVID-19, but has also equipped us with the knowledge that permanent immunity is a reality.”

Earlier additional antibody production from early infections was studied and suggested that antibody levels drop quickly after infection, providing only short-term immunity. Dr. Bhattacharya believes that those findings focused on short-lived plasma cells and failed to take into account long-lived plasma cells and the high-affinity antibodies produced by them.

Janko Nikolaich-Jugich

Jenko Nikovich-Jugich, MD, PhD, and other University of Arizona Heath Sciences researchers have developed one of the most accurate COVID-19 antibody tests available and now showed antibodies that persist for months after infection, long term. Provides immunity. Credit: University of Arizona Health Sciences, Chris Hanning

Dr. “The latest time-points we have seen among infected individuals were from the last seven months, so this is the longest period from which we can confirm immunity,” Bhattacharya said. “That said, we know that people who were previously infected with SARS coronavirus, which is the most similar virus to SARS-CoV-2, are still seeing immunity 17 years after infection. If SARS-CoV-2 was the first As with anything, we can expect antibodies for at least two years, and this is unlikely to happen much less. ”

The study began when D.R.S. Nikolaike-Jugich and Bhattacharya, both members of the Urijona BIO5 Institute, led the Urejona Health Sciences team that developed a blood test to test SARS-COV-2 antibodies. Partnering with the state led by 5,882 volunteers under antibody testing in Pima County, Ariz., Beginning April 30. The trial efforts were later expanded statewide.

Since antibodies are associated with the virus at more than one location, the UAri Arizona Health Sciences test employed two different parts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus – S1 and S2. Most tests look for antibodies to S1, which include a receptor-binding domain in which the spike protein binds a protein receptor to infect cells. The Urizona Health Sciences test also analyzes the S2 region of the spike protein. Antibodies must be present in both locations to determine test positive.

“When we started, the first test we developed was 99% accurate for measuring antibodies to a part of the virus,” Dr. Nikolich-Jugich said. “We decided to confirm, and hopefully improve Accuracy Levels by looking at the second part of the virus that makes the antibody independent of the first location. We then validated that test, knowing some people would have antibodies to one part of the virus consistently higher than another. We put two tests together, and only those that show antibody production for both parts of the test are determined to be positive. ”

Scientific verification of the high degree of accuracy of the Arizona Health Sciences antibody test is another finding that highlights Immunity Paper. Out of 5,882 trials, only one returned a false positive, a rate that was less than .02%. The test gained the US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authority in August.

Dr. Nikolich-Jugich said the team has now tested about 30,000 people. Arizona tests are still available for people 18 years of age and older in many locations throughout the state. For more information, visit and sign up for the test.

Reference: 13 October 2020, Immunity.
DOI: 10.1016 / j.immuni.2020.10.004

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