Immune system ‘remembers’ coronavirus for at least 6 months: study

 People may be able to fight off reinfection for at least six months after they recover from COVID-19 thanks to cells that can “remember” the virus, according to research published Monday.

Researchers in the United States and Switzerland studied dozens of people who had recovered from COVID-19 and found that while their antibodies may fade over time, they maintained levels of specific memory B cells.

These cells can remember the pathogen and can, if faced with reinfection, prompt the immune system to reinitiate the production of virus-fighting antibodies.

The authors assessed 87 people with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis at a little over one month and six months after infection.

While they found that virus neutralising antibody activity decreased with time, the number of memory B cells remained unchanged.

Researchers said their study indicated that the memory B cell response against the coronavirus evolves during the six months after infection in the presence of viral remnant proteins in the body – enabling the cells to produce more potent antibodies.


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