Population immunity to SARS-CoV-2 achieved by either infection or vaccination is important for overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. A team of researchers led by the University of Zurich (UZH) has discovered another factor that contributes to SARS-CoV-2 immunity: previous antibody responses to other harmless coronaviruses. “People who have shown a strong immune response to other human coronaviruses also have some protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection,” said Alexandra, director of the UZH Institute for Medical Virology. Turkey La says.
In their study, researchers used a specially developed assay to analyze antibody levels against four other humans. coronavirus In 825 serum samples taken prior to the appearance of SARS-CoV-2. They also examined 389 samples from donors infected with SARS-CoV-2. By combining these analyzes with a computer-based model, the team was able to accurately predict how well the antibody would bind and neutralize the invading virus.
Cross-reactivity reduces the severity of infection
Researchers have been able to demonstrate that people who catch SARS-CoV-2 have lower levels of antibodies to the common cold-causing coronavirus compared to those who are not infected. In addition, people with high levels of antibodies to the harmless coronavirus were less likely to be hospitalized after catching SARS-CoV-2. “Our study shows that a strong antibody response to human coronavirus increases the level of antibody to SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, those who have acquired immunity to harmless coronavirus are severe SARS. -Better protection from CoV-2 infections, “says Trkola. .. This type of immune response, called cross-reactivity, also occurs in the T cell response, which is an additional line of the immune system in defense against infection.
People are fully protected from SARS-CoV-2 only immediately after recovery from infection or after receiving effective vaccination. This is when the antibody level against the virus is still very high. As these levels decline over time, infections are no longer prevented, but immunological memory rapidly reactivates the body’s defenses, antibody production, and T cell defenses. “Of course, immune responses targeting SARS-CoV-2 mounted by memory cells are much more effective than cross-reactive responses, but cross-reactivity, even if protection is not absolute. Immunity The response shortens the infection and reduces its severity. And this is exactly what can be achieved by vaccination, which is much more efficient, “Trkola said.
For comprehensive protection against coronavirus
It is not yet known if this cross-reactivity works in the opposite direction. Whether immunity to SARS-CoV-2 achieved by vaccination, for example, also provides protection against other human coronaviruses remains to be elucidated. “If SARS-CoV-2 immunity also provides some protection from infection with other coronaviruses, it will be an important step towards achieving comprehensive protection against other coronaviruses, including new variants.” Explains virologists.This idea is also supported by the fact that cross-reactivity protection is not just based on antibody, But even T cells are very likely.
Irene A. Abela et al, Multifactorial Serum Profiling, analyzes the contribution of existing human coronavirus responses to SARS-CoV-2 immunity. Nature Communications (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-021-27040-x
University of Zurich
Quote: Exposure to harmless coronavirus is SARS-CoV obtained on November 22, 2021 from https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2021-11-exposure-harmless-coronaviruses-boosts-sars-cov- -2 Boost Immunity (November 22, 2021). html
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