Studies show a hidden immune feature may have spared unvaccinated people from COVID-19 infections
As the world adapts to understanding COVID-19, more studies have been made giving us more insights into the infectious disease. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Gothenburg have just taken another step toward understanding how the immune system develops resistance against COVID-19. For six months, the researchers at the University’s Sahlgrenska Academy
investigated 156 employees from five primary healthcare facilities who were recruited between April and May 2020. None of these employees had been vaccinated against COVID-19, and the majority of them had to work with infected patients daily during the height of the pandemic.
Researchers identified IgA (immunoglobulin A) in the respiratory tracts of several of the individuals who didn't get COVID-19, which could mean they had an antidote in their immune systems all this time.
These antibodies are found naturally in mucous membrane secretions in the airways and gastrointestinal tract, where they protect the body by binding to viruses and other invading organisms.
According to the results of the study published in the European Journal of Immunology, a third of the care workers developed antibodies to COVID-19, and they fell into two distinct groups based on antibody patterns and COVID-19 incidence.
One group that exclusively possessed IgA antibodies never succumbed to COVID-19. Participants in the other group had IgG antibodies as well as T cells and did get infected with COVID-19.
However, it should be noted that the majority of the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against severe illness, hospitalisation, and death. In fact, as the Omicron subvariant BA.2 replaces its sister version, BA.1, as the dominant form of COVID-19 in many countries, researchers have discovered that two doses of COVID-19 vaccination still appear to reduce the risk of infection
caused by the new subvariant.
Source: Interesting Engineering