The researchers, led by Ali Elebedi of the University of Washington, examined the production of antibodies in 77 people, most of whom had mild cov- eral, In bone marrow they have long contained plasma cells.
These cells are placed inside Delay “ They act when the body is exposed to a new infection because they can ‘remember’ specific parts of the pathogen, in this case the SARS-CoV-2 corona virus that produces COVID-19.
Research shows that mild cases leave people with u diseaseLong-term antibody protection And “recurrence of the disease is rare.”
“A plasma cell is our biography, as far as the pathogens we are exposed to are concerned”, Elepedi said Natural, Refers to the ability of these cells to produce antibodies continuously for many years.
Elebedi recalled in a statement that antibodies were declining rapidly after infection a few months ago. “The media explained that the immune system was not durable.”
However, the expert pointed out that “this is a misinterpretation of the data. Antibody levels are normal After a severe infection, but they do not go to zero, they are confirmed ”.
In this case, he pointed out, they found out “Antibody-producing cells in people eleven months after the first symptoms. These cells live and produce antibodies throughout life. This is solid evidence of long-term immunity. “
During a viral infection, the antibody-producing immune cells multiply rapidly and circulate in the blood, causing the antibody level to skyrocket. Once the infection is resolved, most of these cells die and the level of antibody in the blood decreases.
However, a small population of antibody-producing cells, called chronic plasma cells, Migrate to bone marrow and settle there, They constantly secrete low levels of antibodies into the bloodstream to protect themselves from another encounter with the virus.
To determine if individuals recovering from mild cases of COVID-19 have chronic plasma cells against SARS-Cov-2, the team used blood samples at three-month intervals, one month after the initial infection.
Most of the participants had mild cases of COVID-19, and only six were hospitalized.
The team also received bone marrow samples from some of the participants at two different times, and samples were taken from eleven individuals who did not have the disease.
As expected, the level of antibodies in the blood of the participants decreased rapidly in the first few months after infection, and then, mostIs confirmed by certain detectable antibodies Even eleven months after infection.
In addition, fifteen of the nineteen bone marrow samples from patients with this disease There are cells that produce antibodies Especially directed against the virus.
Of the five who returned to provide a second bone marrow sample, those cells were still found four months later.
With information from EFE / Nature
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