A study by the University of Toronto researchers found that Covid-19 antibodies last approximately 90 days following contamination. By analyzing infected patients’ blood and saliva, the immunology study concluded that individuals are largely protected from Covid-19 while their antibodies’ response to the virus remains active.
After being infected with a virus, whether they are symptomatic or not, recovered patients’ plasma cells generate antibodies against that specific virus to prevent immediate re-infection. The adaptive immune system utilizes these antibodies to identify pathogens and neutralize them before they can attack and infect the host.
The study spanned over 115 days, where the blood plasma of 739 participants and saliva of 247 were tested regularly. With a team of 36 researchers, this U of T study is a significant advancement on the road to developing an effective vaccine.
“This is another tool that can help us better understand and even overcome this virus,” stated
Anne-Claude Gingras, a molecular genetics professor, in an interview with U of T News.
Professor Jennifer Gommerman at the Temerty faculty of medicine also argues that by researching how the body responds to Covid-19 infection, scientists can develop a vaccine that provides the individual with an active acquired immunity.
The Public Health of Canada states that vaccination is the ultimate protection measure against vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. Thus, by producing a vaccine, Canada can restrain the spread of Covid-19, and the virus could be as preventable as influenza.
“This study suggests that if a vaccine is properly designed, it has the potential to induce a durable antibody response that can help protect the vaccinated person against the virus that causes [Covid-19],” said Gommerman.
Although there is still much left to learn regarding the novel coronavirus and how it affects the body, this research is a hopeful development toward ending Covid-19.