Study: Corona recovered with mild course could have lifelong immunity

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Corona patients with a mild course could have lifelong immunity, according to a study. Convalescents who had only mild symptoms still have antibodies in their blood almost a year after their illness, the researchers write in the journal “Nature”. The number of antibodies would drop again quickly after an infection, as known from previous studies. However, the antibodies would never completely disappear, which could lead to lifelong immunity.

The researchers note, however, that people who had a severe course after infection might be less protected because of a variety of inflammatory conditions that can “lead to a defective immune response.” Against this, a common reason for a severe course could be that these infected people have many viruses in their bodies. This could lead to a good immune system response.

Antibodies were still detectable after eleven months
For the study, blood and bone marrow were collected from a total of 77 people who had been affected by a mild corona infection. Four weeks after infection, blood was then drawn every three months. Seven to eight months after infection, bone marrow was also collected from eighteen participants. Five of them had bone marrow taken again nearly a year after infection.

The scientists compared the samples from those who had the disease with those from eleven people who had never been infected. They found that the number of antibodies had decreased, but they were still detectable after eleven months. Co-author Ali Ellebedy states, “It’s normal for antibodies to drop after an acute infection, but they don’t drop to zero, they reach a plateau.”

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