Research suggests Coronavirus immunity could last decades

Research suggests coronavirus immunity may remain for a long time. For most people, Covid-19 immunity may last more than eight months, which can go up to potentially even years or decades, according to new research.

Researchers found that the levels of B and T cells, which are crucial to fighting off illness, remained stable up to eight months after initial infection.

The slow rate of decline suggests the immune cells may live and persist in the body for longer periods of time. The research has not been peer-reviewed or published in any scientific journal. But, the study is the most comprehensive and long-range. It may look like body’s immune response to coronavirus till now.

A virologist, Shane Crotty, at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology has co-led the new study told ‘That amount of memory would likely prevent the vast majority of people from getting hospitalized disease, severe disease, for many years.’ Researchers took blood samples from 185 patients who were between the ages of 19 to 81. These all have tested positive for the coronavirus in the pandemic’s first months.

The US-based Research suggests Coronavirus immunity can be looked as four parts of the immune system which can build an overall picture of the immune response. It may not be individual components. The parts were B cells that produce antibodies, coronavirus antibodies, and two kinds of T cells that kill infected cells.

The government has still to roll out a comprehensive antibody testing procedure for the citizens. `Immune memory consisting of at least three immunological compartments was measurable in ~90% of subjects’ as the scientists found this after the initial infection of five months. This immune memory, consisting of many antibodies, was also found to be ‘durable’, decreasing very slowly. This may be consistent with the probability that they might remain for years, or even for decades.

These findings are very encouraging and have been supported by evidence. These evidences are coming out of other research groups who have doing it as immune ‘memory’ cells, remaining for at least three months after coronavirus infection. German researchers last week found that recovered Covid-19 patients also possess a protective ‘killer’ immune cells which exist even when antibodies are very difficult to detect.

Leading immunologists have been suggesting that the upcoming results are pointing towards the novel coronavirus acting as a ‘conventional’ disease. Once the first few critical weeks have been passed, it becomes so. Possibly after being exposed to lower amounts of the virus, researchers have suggested vaccines would mean this isn’t a problem, although a small number of patients were found not to have long-lasting immunity,

The higher number of patients who have been showing long term immunity also can be related to a situation where vaccines may not have to be administered each year similar to the flu vaccine currently does to a patient.

Recent studies have found that SARS survivors which is closely related to the 2019 coronavirus still carry immune cells. It has been more than 17 years after they got the first infection.

A few immunologists also are of the opinion that comparisons to the common cold, which is considered another kind of coronavirus, are inaccurate because of much larger amount of genetic variations with the novel coronavirus. While others scientists have noted that it is normal for antibody levels to drop over time and even they may form only a part of the immune system.