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Hidden immune cells can help fight against new Covid variants: study

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Kamal Saini
Kamal S. has been Journalist and Writer for Business, Hardware and Gadgets at Revyuh.com since 2018. He deals with B2b, Funding, Blockchain, Law, IT security, privacy, surveillance, digital self-defense and network policy. As part of his studies of political science, sociology and law, he researched the impact of technology on human coexistence. Email: kamal (at) revyuh (dot) com

A new study indicates that while some immune cells fail to fight against new strains, others remain strong and can shield us against severe disease.

Anti-bodies are just one portion of the immune system’s response to infections like SARS-COV-2.

Our body, after getting infected or after vaccination, produces the proteins. But if infected with the South African variant, the body response in making antibodies is significantly lower compared to the Brazil variant and strain from Kent.

It clearly indicates that if someone who has already been through Covid, may get it again if exposed to the new strain.

However, science still looking for answers for this part of the puzzle, T-cells limit infection by recognizing parts of the virus protein on the surface of infected cells.

The study suggests that T-cells are as robust against new variants as the “original” one.

A team of scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) carried out an analysis of blood samples from recovered COVID-19 patients and found a very specific form of T cell that was active against the virus that helped to escape new mutation of the South African and Brazilian variants, including E484K.

“Our data, as well as the results from other groups, shows that the T-cell response to Covid-19 in individuals infected with the initial viral variants appears to fully recognize the major new variants identified in the UK, South Africa and Brazil,” explained Andrew Redd, the study lead author from the NIAID and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The research, accepted for publication in Open Forum Infectious Diseases but yet to be peer reviewed.

A research paper by the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in California also indicated that those already vaccinated against Coronavirus will still be protected against severe disease caused by new variants.

They highlighted that T cells from vaccinated people were still able to identify the “spike protein” on the surface of the virus cell.

And T-cells in previously infected people were able to recognise multiple parts of the virus, including the spike and other proteins.

While the T-cells alone won’t be able to prevent someone from picking up the coronavirus, they could prevent severe Covid disease.

The researchers wrote: “While it is not anticipated that circulating memory T-cells would be effective in preventing Sars-Cov-2 infection, it is plausible that they can reduce Covid-19 severity.”

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