Coronavirus: neutralizing antibodies might protect from a reinfection, a study says

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 19 August 2020 at 11h43 · Updated on 20 August 2020 at 11h58
Immunity against coronavirus tending to be confirmed? According to a study released in preprint on Medrxiv, some antibodies might be effective against a covid-19 reinfection. The first results are yet to be confirmed by other studies and clinical trials.

What if a new milestone was passed in the comprehension of coronavirus? According to an American study released in preprint on Medrxiv, some “neutralizing” antibodies are particularly effective against a Covid-19 reinfection. It shares the experience sailors on a fishing boat in Seattle have lived and their health misfortune. According to scientists, three of the sailors on the boat had been already infected by the virus and developed antibodies able to face it, and had not been re-infected after being exposed to the virus again once on the sea.

This is one of the firs studies on men showing that these antibodies – providing the virus from sticking to cells – can protect from another contamination. “There presence of neutralizing antibodies from prior infection was significantly associated with protection against re-infection” several scientists from the Washington University and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center from Seattle explain. A study that goes that way, then.

Out of the 122 sailors on the ship, 120 have been tested before boarding in order to detect people already contaminated, as well as those who might have developed antibodies. None of the people tested was positive when leaving, but six of them have been exposed to the virus and antibodies were found in their systems. Once on the boat back and after being tested, scientists noticed that almost the entire crew was infected with Covid-19 and three of them who developed antibodies were contaminated as well. For the three others, “the three crewmembers with neutralizing antibodies were protected from infection”.

The study enables to see immunity against the virus clearer. Asked about the results, molecular virology professor at the Nottingham university Jonathan Ball can only say: “it suggests that individuals who have had a prior exposure to virus are susceptible to reinfection unless they have appreciable levels of neutralizing antibodies”. He goes on: “this gives us an important insight into the type of immunity that might protect from future infection”.

This is a very significant finding” searcher at the  London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine John Edmunds explains. He adds: “It suggests neutralizing antibodies can protect against infection.” A new milestone has been passed then while we are waiting for new studies and new results agreeing with it.

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