The Rockefeller University had recently conducted a study to share positive news amidst the pandemic season. They have suggested that those who have recovered from COVID-19 are shielded against the virus for at least six months, or much longer. It was observed that the study participants continued to develop their antibodies months after initial infection, possibly due to the presence of virus remnants hidden in the gut.
87 individuals were assessed in the study at 1.3 and 6.2 months after infection. The researchers found that the enhanced antibodies were produced by the immune cells that continued to grow, possibly due to the persistent exposure to the remains of the virus hidden in the gut tissue. Based on these findings, researchers speculate that if the recovered patient encounters the disease again, the response would be both faster and more effective, preventing re-infection.
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Christian Gaebler, Zijun Wang, Julio C. C. Lorenzi, Frauke Muecksch, Shlomo Finkin, Minami Tokuyama, Alice Cho, Mila Jankovic, Dennis Schaefer-Babajew, Thiago Y. Oliveira, Melissa Cipolla, Charlotte Viant, Christopher O. Barnes, Yaron Bram, Gaëlle Breton, Thomas Hägglöf, Pilar Mendoza, Arlene Hurley, Martina Turroja, Kristie Gordon, Katrina G. Millard, Victor Ramos, Fabian Schmidt, Yiska Weisblum, Divya Jha, Michael Tankelevich, Gustavo Martinez-Delgado, Jim Yee, Roshni Patel, Juan Dizon, Cecille Unson-O’Brien, Irina Shimeliovich, Davide F. Robbiani, Zhen Zhao, Anna Gazumyan, Robert E. Schwartz, Theodora Hatziioannou, Pamela J. Bjorkman, Saurabh Mehandru, Paul D. Bieniasz, Marina Caskey, Michel C. Nussenzweig. Evolution of antibody immunity to SARS-CoV-2. Nature, 2021; DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03207-w