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T cells induced by COVID-19 infection respond to new virus variants

T cells induced by COVID-19 infection respond to new virus variants

JULIE STEENHUYSEN  A critical component of the immune system known as T cells that respond to fight infection from the original version of the novel coronavirus appears to also protect against three of the most concerning new virus variants, according to a U.S. laboratory study released. Several recent studies have shown that certain variants of the novel coronavirus can undermine immune protection from antibodies and vaccines. But antibodies - which block the coronavirus from attaching to human cells - may not tell the whole story, according to the study by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases…
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New variant may reduce vaccine efficacy

New variant may reduce vaccine efficacy

THE new COVID-19 variant identified in South Africa can evade the antibodies that attack it in treatments using blood plasma from previously recovered patients and may reduce the efficacy of the current line of vaccines, scientists have said. Researchers are racing to establish whether the vaccines currently being rolled out across the globe are effective against the so-called 501Y.V2 variant, identified by South African genomics experts late last year in Nelson Mandela Bay. "This lineage exhibits complete escape from three classes of therapeutically relevant monoclonal antibodies," the team of scientists from three South African universities working with the National Institute…
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Why do antibodies fade after a COVID-19 infection, and will the same thing happen with vaccines?

Why do antibodies fade after a COVID-19 infection, and will the same thing happen with vaccines?

THE goal of the COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out worldwide is to stimulate our immune systems into creating a protective response against the coronavirus, particularly by generating antibodies. These antibodies then circulate in our blood until needed in the future, attacking and removing the coronavirus quickly from our bodies if we become infected. STEVEN SMITH, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, Brunel University London The speed with which the scientific and medical communities have developed and tested these new vaccines has been extraordinary. However, this short timescale leaves us with some outstanding questions. Key among these is how long the protection…
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