Coronavirus treatment news: Many probable areas touted as solutions to the Coronavirus pandemic are banking on the immunity developed in the patients who have recovered from Covid-19 including the idea of herd immunity. However, a recent study conducted by some researchers at the King’s College has found that the immunity against Covid-19 might only last for a couple of months in patients who have recovered from it. The conclusion was drawn after a huge drop was reported in the immunity levels of the patients who have recovered from the diseases in a matter of months, according to a report published in the Indian Express.
A set of 90 patients who had recovered from the disease including health workers lost their immunity to the virus 2-3 times in a period between 18-65 days. The decrease in the level of immunity levels is similar to that reported in other similar viral diseases like common cold and flu, the study says. In other words, even the recovered patients might get re-infected with the virus after a period of 2-3 months when they have lost their immunity. However, the level of residual immunity may vary from person to person and case to case basis. The study reports that only 60 per cent of the patients develop “strong immunity” against the virus in the first place when their infection is at the peak and after the passage of 65 days only 16.7 percent of them maintain that level of immunity. The research has also found that the quantity of antibodies is much higher in patients who went through severe symptoms of the virus. The findings of the study might also have repercussions with respect to the development of the vaccine as the longer durability of the vaccine will be very crucial to weed out the infection from the world.
However, the amount of antibodies needed to put up an effective fight against re-infection has not been ascertained in this study and the researchers have said that more studies need to be done on this aspect. Dr Katie Doores from the School of Immunology & Microbial Sciences who led the research was quoted as saying that more research is needed to ascertain the level of antibodies needed to protect the body from re-infection.
Moreover, according to the researchers apart from the immunity provided by the antibodies, the body fights against the virus through its T-cells as well. The role played by the T-cells cannot be discounted in such studies on this issue, the study says. According to the IE report, when the antibodies are not able to put up a sufficient fight against the virus, then the infected cell has another mechanism to induce the immunity response of the body which is known as T-cell mechanism. Alike the function of memory, the T-cells recognise the virus and multiply themselves and de-activate the virus. AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria has earlier attested to the activation of T-cell immunity mechanism in some of the cases under observation.