Our immune system can fight a second corona infection better than initially thought. This is according to new research published in the American newspaper ‘The New York Times’. Our cells store information about Covid-19, which means that the body is better equipped to fight the virus in the event of a second infection.
Various recent studies have shown that our body stores a lot of information about the corona virus. Researchers are therefore hopeful that we can indeed build long-term immunity against the virus. The antibodies and immune cells, the so-called B and T cells that recognize the virus in the body, appear to be still active months after infection and to defend themselves against Covid-19 if necessary. Whether you became seriously ill with the first infection or only had mild symptoms would not matter.
The research is confirmed by immunologist Marion Pepper from the University of Washington. “This is what we were all hoping for,” she says The New York Times. “Our body has everything for a protective and above all complete immune response that can render the virus harmless.” But despite the positive signs, Pepper remains cautious. “The proof has yet to be provided. This will only come when it is established that most patients who come into contact with Covid-19 a second time can successfully fight the virus. ” In concrete terms: with a second attack, our body is no more vulnerable to the virus.
And it’s not just the antibodies, a protein, that will then protect us. “The immune system is a complex whole. Antibodies are only part of that. It is quite possible that the virus in our body is safe for antibodies, but not for T cells, for example, which in turn stimulate B cells. ” Most B cells have an expiration date and die again after a few weeks. “But some B cells still remain. If the body is attacked by the virus again, they will still produce antibodies and fight back. ”
Same with the T cells. They, too, could still be found in the blood of former patients months after the coronavirus was cured. “But I would like to stress that the real proof has yet to be provided,” says Pepper. “There is a need for more in-depth research, but these results are already encouraging.”