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Declining Antibodies and Immunity to COVID-19—Why the Worry?  

Author:  Alexander (Sasha) Poltorak.

Source: Volume 22, Number 01, Winter 2020 , pp.23-23(1)

Correctional Health Care Report

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Most people are aware that testing for antibodies in a person’s blood can show if someone has had a specific disease, such as COVID-19. Those antibodies provide protection from getting the disease again. But in a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that antibody levels decline in individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, dropping by half every 36 days. Does that mean people who have recovered from COVID-19 have lost their immunity? The author, a geneticist interested in innate immune response—the part of the immune system that we have at birth—explains how the innate immune cells “educate” antibody-producing cells about a pathogen and how to identify and destroy it, and why, while antibodies are important for immunity, they aren’t the only factor that counts.

Keywords: Innate Immune System; Adaptive Immune System; B Cells; T Cells

Affiliations:  1: Tufts University.

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