Also, the new discovery may lead to the development of broad-spectrum antibodies against coronaviruses.
The blood plasma of people who have undergone COVID-19 contains antibodies that can neutralize other dangerous coronaviruses, a new study showed. published Nature Microbiology… Its authors point out that these data may play an important role in the development of vaccines against coronaviruses in the future.
B-cells (B-lymphocytes) produce neutralizing antibodies. They are part of the body’s immune response to infection. The properties of neutralizing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus have been relatively little studied to date.
Chinese scientists analyzed the blood plasma of 67 patients who recovered from COVID-19 in Hunan. Most of them had high levels of neutralizing antibodies one month after they were discharged from the hospital. Higher titers of antibodies were observed in patients who suffered severe disease.
The high concentration of neutralizing antibodies in the blood was associated with an increased number of a special subgroup of T cells – follicular T-helper cells. They help B cells make antibodies. However, it remains unknown whether these cells are able to maintain the production of neutralizing antibodies for a long time. This information would be important to understand the potential of vaccines.
Scientists conducted laboratory studies in which they found that some neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 are able to neutralize coronaviruses that cause other dangerous diseases – severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV). The researchers explain this by the fact that the spike proteins of these three viruses have similar areas.
The study authors point out that the ability of some antibodies appearing after the transferred COVID-19 to neutralize several different coronaviruses suggests that it is potentially possible to develop a vaccine against all coronaviruses at once – the so-called. pancoronavirus. Another prospect associated with this discovery is the development of broad-spectrum antibodies against coronaviruses.