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Neutralising Antibodies Against Covid-19

  • 27 May 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, a study conducted on the hospital staff in France has shown that almost all doctors and nurses who got mild forms of Covid-19 have produced antibodies that can prevent reinfection.

  • Almost all of the staff tested had antibodies that were capable of neutralizing the novel coronavirus.

Key Points

  • Findings of the Study:
    • Antibodies against novel coronavirus were detected in virtually all hospital staff, sampled 13 days after the symptoms started.
    • Neutralising antibodies were found in 91% of the individuals.
      • After an infection, it takes some time for the host to produce neutralising antibodies.
      • These are a type of antibody that is capable of keeping an infectious agent (for instance, a virus) from infecting a cell by neutralizing or inhibiting its biological effect.
      • An antibody is a protective protein produced by the immune system in response to the presence of a foreign substance, called an antigen.
    • The study also revealed that patients may get protective immunity against the virus.
  • Protective Immunity:
    • It is a condition of developing the protection against infectious disease conferred either by the immune response generated through immunization, previous infection or by other factors.
    • Several evidence suggest that the presence of neutralising antibodies may be associated with protective immunity for Covid-19 infection.
  • Supports Serologic Testing:
    • The study supports the use of serologic testing for the diagnosis of individuals who have recovered from Covid-19 infection.
      • Currently, serologic response of individuals with mild forms of Covid-19 infection is poorly characterised.
    • Serologic Tests:
      • Serology tests are blood-based tests that can be used to identify whether people have been exposed to a particular pathogen by looking at their immune response.
      • It measures the amount of antibodies or proteins present in the blood when the body is responding to a specific infection.
      • These tests can also give greater detail into the prevalence of a disease in a population by identifying individuals who have developed antibodies to the virus.

Way Forward

  • Currently, there's no specific treatment or vaccine for the coronavirus disease.
  • The findings may help scientists better understand Covid-19, including whether people who have recovered from the coronavirus infection, particularly milder forms, develop antibodies against the virus.
  • Further, there is a need of future studies to characterise the beneficial or detrimental role of specific antibodies in Covid-19 patients.

Source: TH

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