Corona immunity and T lymphocytes – Vorarlberger Nachrichten

The immunity to the virus SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the disease Covid-19, has been the subject of controversy in science since the disease first appeared. High-ranking scientific publications were recently published in July and August that shed a little more light on the question: The T lymphocytes, they are part of the lymphocytes, which in turn are part of the white blood cells, are moving into the focus of research with gratifying results. Several independent research groups come to very similar results, which is not always the case with completely new studies. T cells can apparently at least partially use the information they have acquired through previous coronaviruses in the fight against the new coronavirus. And not just after SARS corona illnesses in 2003.

Partial cross immunity

Obviously, there is a partial cross-immunity between the various coronaviruses, which means that previous colds with “harmless” coronaviruses also stimulated the formation of T lymphocytes. These T cells are obviously able to recognize SARS-CoV-2 and to block and kill infected cells. Since the virus needs an intact living cell to multiply, Covid 19 disease is weakened or completely prevented.

This also explains the very different frequency of infection and why the virus is life-threatening or fatal for some people and others go through the infection without symptoms. T lymphocytes form an immunological memory that can react quickly to a recurring infection. When T cells come into contact with the coronavirus for the first time, it takes days for it to take effect and for antibodies to be produced on a massive scale when the B cells are stimulated. If the T cells are already present, however, this process is greatly accelerated. This fact also gives reason to be optimistic about the long-term effects of vaccines under development. Several vaccine candidates have already proven their effectiveness, the T lymphocytes will probably ensure years of effectiveness.

Specific SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are not detectable in all Covid-19 patients and often show a rapid decrease and thus supposedly a loss of immunity, even with high antibody titers. The available study results suggest that the immunity is nevertheless preserved. The major safety reviews of vaccine candidates are still pending. Use in millions of healthy children, young and old adults and people at high risk must be rigorously assessed. In order to be able to reliably estimate the side effect profile, each vaccine must be tested on at least 30,000, better 100,000, volunteers of all ages and risk classes. Medical intervention in millions of healthy people must have a maximum of temporary mild general and local side effects. There is currently no possibility in Austria to take part in such a phase III study.

“T-lymphocytes are the immunological memory and can react specifically very quickly.”

bans Concin

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Prim. a. D. Dr. Hans Concin, Vice President of the Association