Chief physician of immunity to Chaos: there is No evidence that Convalescent newly infected

Anyone who has survived an infection with the pathogen of Sars-CoV-2, is immune. Or is it not? This question is currently being discussed heavily, also because it is of particular relevance to develop a vaccine against the pathogen.

About the immune status after recovery from long-term Covid-19 infection is still debated. In the last few weeks there have been some reports on the studies quickly showed decreasing antibody concentrations in the blood of convalescent Covid-19-patients. Does this mean that this Covid-19-Recovering after a short period of time no immune protection against the Virus have? And what does this mean for a vaccine?

Can Corona Convalescent infect with Sars-CoV-2?

“Even if the first results indicate a partial loss of neutralising antibodies are antibodies in Covid-19-patients, it does not mean that this goes hand in hand with a loss of the immunity to the Virus,” explains Clemens Wendtner, chief of infectious diseases and tropical medicine, and head of the special unit for highly contagious life-threatening infections of Munich, clinic Schwabing. To date, it should be about , no clear Re-infection, and from convalescent Covid-19 patients with Sars-CoV-2 have been reported.

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There is cross-immunity?

On several occasions there had been also already in a position to indicate whether a certain degree of cross-immunity may be present. So it can lead to a history of infection with another Coronavirus that causes colds, to a certain immune protection, also in relation to a Sars-CoV-2 disease?

“There are first indications that many people have some cross-reactivity with other coronaviruses beyond Sars-CoV-2,” says Wendtner. At the present time , however, is completely unclear whether this will result in a protective immunity in respect of Covid-19 is , or by such cross-immunity is at least a mild form of the disease due to could be. “Further research is urgently needed to identify particularly vulnerable groups of persons and to protect.”

What do we know about the immune response?

Both B-cell and T-cell immunity seems to play the Infectious disease specialists, according to an “important role in the immune system of the Virus.” Both the B – and T-lymphocytes belong to the acquired immune system. The B-lymphocytes make antibodies against invaders produce. The T-cells attack pathogens and also body kill its own cells that were already infected by a Virus.

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“The first Work to show that in fact T cells from convalescent Covid-19 -patient-specific protein molecules of the Sars-CoV-2-to detect Virus,” says Wendtner. Patients, who had survived in 2003, the first Sars infection, showed the Munich-based physicians, according to still a so-called T-memory cells also reacted against the new Sars-CoV-2 Virus. A T cell can be detected-response against the Envelope protein of the Virus in humans, the evidence were Diseased not contact Covid-19-and absolutely healthy.

“However, is completely open, the extent to which these T-cells actually protect them from a Covid-19-illness and the disease course of disease could affect. For this purpose, time observations, both in recovering Covid – 19-patients as well as Healthy is a lack of more long.“

What this means for vaccine research?

“A ray of light on the way to a vaccine against Covid-19 the discovery that neutralizing reported at the end of the anti body of Covid-19-patients are not obviously so different in comparison to antibodies, which have been collected in patients many years before the Covid-19 pandemic and now sequenced”, Wendtner is.

The interpret suggests that there is a kind of common Precursor cells among B-cells , which neutralising antibodies in humans produce. These Precursor cells from Mature very quickly and be able to produce specific antibodies against Sars-CoV-2.

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That is, “the most important components of an immune response are, by nature, already exists, this must only correctly as a result of vaccination together,” explains the head of the special unit for highly contagious infections at Munich, clinic Schwabing.

First results from the worldwide with the high-pressure forced vaccination studies show positive results. They point to the successful production of neutralizing antibodies against Sars-CoV-2 in healthy subjects, as Wendtner says. Nevertheless, the final proof of the effectiveness of.

Immune therapy for critically Ill possible?

The immunological research to Covid-19 promoted in the few months since the discovery of the new Coronavirus significant findings, says Wendtner. And that is positive – not only in terms of vaccine research.

“Hope is the fact that it is a German group, Florian Klein, and with the participation of several German centres, we have managed to characterize neutralizing antibodies of the Convalescent carefully, and to build, so that it may be necessary to soon to be a passive, could immune therapy for critically ill Covid-19-patients are available, no matter how weak the immune system of the patients may also always be,” explained the physician.

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