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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Super-immunity from COVID-19 possible

Scientists say that people who have been tested positive of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have a stronger immune response after being vaccinated than those who have never been infected.
Rockefeller University virologists Theodora Hatziioannou and Paul Bieniasz made a study on SARS-CoV-2 protein to identify the parts of spike that are targeted by neutralizing antibodies. In a study published last September 2021, they reported that a spike mutant containing 20 changes was fully resistant to neutralizing antibodies made by most of the people tested who had been either infected or vaccinated.
Researchers studied the vaccine responses of people who had previously caught and recovered from COVID-19. “We saw that the antibodies come up to these astronomical levels that outpace what you get from two doses of vaccine alone,” says Rishi Goel, an immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania, whose team is studying on super or hybrid immunity.
Their studies showed that people with hybrid immunity were far better able to neutralize immune-evading strains, such as the Beta variant and other coronaviruses, compared with vaccinated individuals who had never encountered SARS-CoV-22.
Michel Nussenzweig, an immunologist at the Rockefeller, said that’s because they evolve in organs called lymph nodes, gaining mutations that help them to bind more tightly to the spike protein over time. When people who recovered from COVID-19 are re-exposed to SARS-CoV-2’s spike, these cells multiply and churn out more of these highly potent antibodies.
However, the scientists studying hybrid immunity stress that the risks of a SARS-CoV-2 infection mean that it should be avoided. “We are not inviting anybody to get infected and then vaccinated to have a good response,” says Andrés Finzi, a virologist from the University of Montreal, Canada . “Because some of them will not make it through.”

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