Although the emphasis is on getting people vaccinated against Covid-19, most people have their own natural protection from severe infection.
The key is our immune system’s ability to produce antibodies that neutralize the SARS-COV-2 virus responsible for Covid-19 and make infection less deadly, and also stop us from spreading it.
In particular, the antibodies target the virus’s receptor-binding domain (RBD), and this biological process, more than anything else, will determine how long Covid remains a deadly epidemic, say researchers from Tel Aviv University.
They compared the B-cell responses of eight patients with severe Covid-19 and 10 others with mild symptoms. Very ill patients had the highest levels of RBD antibodies, and six of the 22 antibodies taken from the patients had strong neutralizing capabilities.
Most people naturally produce these neutralizing antibodies, said lead researcher Michael Mor, especially if it was a response to a severe infection. Combinations of different types of antibodies also completely blocked the live virus from spreading.
Although we produce these antibodies naturally, doctors could also be helping the process by using antibody cocktails for the most severe cases and for the elderly, whose immune system may not be able to produce antibodies so easily.
(Source: PLOS Pathogens, 2021; 17: e1009165)