A new study suggests that most people who recover from a SARS-CoV-2 infection retain the immune memory they would need to prevent a severe reinfection. The protection provided by vaccination may be similarly long-lasting.
- New research has found that people who have recovered from COVID-19 may have immunity to SARS-CoV-2 for 8 months or more.
- This is due to long-lasting immune memory that allows the immune system to remain active against the virus.
- However, due to differences in individual immune memories, not all people who have recovered from COVID-19 will have long-lasting immunity against the virus.
Researchers at the La Jolla Institute in La Jolla, CA, monitored all four branches of the “adaptive” immune system — which protects against specific infections — in people who recovered from COVID-19, the illness that the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes.
“Our data suggest that the immune response is there — and it stays,” says Prof. Alessandro Sette, who co-led the study with Prof. Shane Crotty.
The scientists measured levels of antibodies, memory B cells, and two types of T cells, all targeted at the virus.
“As far as we know, this is the largest study ever for any acute infection that has measured all four of those components of immune memory,” says Prof. Crotty.