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Trust your immune system in case of COVID 19 re-infection

Health 23 Feb 2021
Know-how
Immune system
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Our immune system provides us with the first line of defense against any infection. Our immune system is to infection as the antivirus to the viruses that affect the computer. As you all know, COVID19 brought panic and unrest which terrorized all of us in 2020. Many people lost their lives and at the same time many more recovered from it. The question of the hour remains as to how many days the people, after recovery, are immune to re-infection! A team of scientists from Rockefeller University tried to find that answer and their study made it to the most reputed science journal, Nature.

How does our immune system work?

When our body suffers from virus infection, our own immune system tries to prevent it with everything that the system possesses. Sometimes it is successful and sometimes it fails completely or partially depending upon the nature of the infection or type of the virus. But the striking feature of our immune system is that it is intelligent and adaptive in nature. It starts producing a type of protein to cope up with the virus infection and it is called Antibody. Once this antibody specific to the virus is produced in the system, it starts opposing the virus and flushes it out from the body.

What did we learn about the activities of the immunity system against COVID 19?

Scientists have found out that our immune system remembers the virus after the body recovers from COVID19 and produces a more powerful antibody. Michel C. Nussenzweig, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, says, “We have observed that the immune system can defend our body for quite a long time. In the meantime, it comes up with a more powerful antibody, which is really great news.”

Scientists have found that the produced antibody stays active in the plasma of the blood for a long time. They also have found out that our immune system not only manufactures the antibody but also creates some protein cells named “Memory B cells”. The most interesting fact about these cells is that they remember the virus and come up with a defense mechanism very fast. In their study on 87 patients recovered from COVID19, the scientists observed that the produced antibody could live up to six months while their count decays. But at the same time, the memory B cells keep increasing. Studying further on these B cells scientists found proof that these cells mutate and used to produce more powerful antibodies in abundance. According to Nussenzweig, though this feature is common for a chronic infectious virus like HIV, they did not expect this to happen for SARS-CoV-2.