Human Immune Resistance To A New Variant Of Coronavirus

2021-01-31   |   by CusiGO

The decisive battle between humans and the new coronavirus begins with mass vaccination. Humans have a ruthless weapon – their immune system is activated by the vaccine, with an efficiency of 95%. The virus uses the weapon nature has given it: its ability to mutate completely at random, a phenomenon that could lead to a new version of itself that would help evade the vaccine.

In recent days, some preliminary studies have shown that the vaccine may not be effective in two new variants found in South Africa and Brazil. A study in African countries showed that antibodies – proteins in the immune system that prevent sars-voc-2 from entering cells – are six to 200 times less resistant to the newly discovered mutation. Another study, led by David Ho, a microbiologist at Columbia University in the United States, showed that people who received RNA vaccines had antibodies six to eight times less potent against the same variant.

The version of the virus found in Brazil and South Africa have two mutations that could cause these effects. There are only two letters in the coronavirus genome, with a total of 30000 letters. But these changes only exist in protein S, which is used by virus to anchor, enter human cells and reproduce by its biological mechanism. These changes result in the antibody not fully binding to the virus, which may mean that they lose part of their ability to prevent the virus from entering the cell.

The Hyundai company confirmed that, according to its own research, antibodies produced by vaccinated people are about six times more effective in neutralizing new variants of the virus. The good news, though, is that the vaccine is still effective and may prevent coronavirus from causing disease. The company announced that it was already developing a new version of the vaccine, specifically designed to neutralize the new variant. Biontech / Pfizer points out that they can develop a new variant of their vaccine in less than two months. Both companies have shown that the British variant responds equally well to the vaccine, which is the third worrying variant because it is more infectious.

“Eventually, sars-voc-2 will evolve so much that the current vaccine will no longer work,” explains Paul beniasz, a virologist at Rockefeller University. “But the process,” he warned, “could take years. “As people get vaccinated or infected, there will be fewer serious cases in hospitals. That doesn’t mean the virus will change. It is unlikely to evolve into more or less virulence. “At the end of the day, we’re going to get into a situation where everyone gets infected at a very young age and then gets infected again, but the symptoms are very mild or non-existent,” he explained.

What’s important is that those who might have died in coved have been vaccinated. It’s important to understand that this may protect you from the coronavirus, but it may not prevent the virus from entering your body and spreading it. Therefore, it is assumed that sars-voc-2 will not disappear, but become an endemic virus.

Another recent study based on mathematical models estimates that current vaccines are unlikely or impossible to achieve population immunity. The protection provided by the vaccine is relatively imperfect, the effective rate is between 70% and 95%, and the emergence of new varieties will make the virus continue to spread unless 89% of the population is vaccinated. The new varieties in the United Kingdom make it impossible to reach 130% of the population. As Paul Hunter, a virologist at the University of East Anglia, explains, he is also a co-author of the work. “Our conclusion is that there is no need to achieve mass immunization,” he explained. “As long as we can prevent people from dying of covid, it’s enough, and to make sure that’s the case, the current vaccine is enough,” he added

Carmen camara of the Spanish Society of immunology explained: “in the case of the South African variant, there may also be the Brazilian variant, because they have the same mutation. All the antibody data obtained agree that the partial reduction in neutralization capacity is about 25%.” We are going to reduce our level of protection from 95% to about 70%, which is still very high, “he added.

One of the biggest flaws in all the research on the new variety is that it only tells a small part of history. This work is based on measuring the potency of neutralizing antibodies and doing it in the laboratory, rather than studying what happens in infected or vaccinated people. There is a different world.

If we only rely on antibodies to fight the virus, we will lose our way. The immune system consists of many different types of highly specific cells. All of these include different types of T lymphocytes, white blood cells, which receive very detailed robot portraits of different parts of the virus, which together play the role of an elite army, and the virus is almost impossible to deceive one or more mutations.

“If you ask me if I prefer to have a lot of antibodies or T lymphocytes, I’ll definitely tell you the second question,” explains Antonio bertoletti of Duke University “They may not be able to stop the infection, but they do stop the virus from spreading, so you only catch a cold,” he stressed. The immunologist published a study showing that after infection, possibly after vaccination, a person produces dozens of different lymphocytes. Each one attacks a very special part of the virus to prevent it from escaping.

“We’ve started to look at lymphocytes from people who have been vaccinated with RNA. The good news is that after 10 days of piercing, there is already a good answer. We are now investigating whether some mutations affect T lymphocytes, but most of the epitopes (viral fragments) that recognize these lymphocytes are not outside the receptor binding domain (s protein), so they are not affected by the new mutation. We may find a worrying mutation in one or two people, but it’s very doubtful whether it’s normal, “bertoletti stressed.

In Spain, immunologists from hospitals in Madrid, Barcelona and Cantabria are doing the same research, and they see something very similar. “Ten days later, we’ve seen a very strong lymphocyte response, before the antibody was produced. “This response may have a protective effect on the virus,” explained Jodi ohandor, a researcher and Research Coordinator at the Carlos III Institute of health in Madrid.

Using the known immune system and what has been seen on this virus, it is logical that the new variants will not escape lymphocyte mediated immunity. There is a specific type of cell that has the ability to remember the virus months or even years later. “Studies have shown that people without antibodies are immune to coronavirus. “The answer obviously lies in lymphocytes,” explains Manel Juan, an immunologist at Barcelona Clinic Hospital.

Jordi ochando’s team is implementing a lymphocyte test developed by Antonio bertoletti’s team in Spain. This is a test that needs more logistic support than PCR or antigen. Take a blood sample, add virus fragment, wait for memory lymphocyte reaction. It takes about 24 hours to get the results. Ocando’s team has analyzed 250 people. The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy and actual duration of lymphocyte mediated anti coronavirus immunity in vaccinated people, first and second wave infected people, immunosuppressed people and healthy controls. According to the latest data, it will last at least eight months. A study recently published by La Jolla infectious disease center of the United States shows that cell response is effective even for new virus variants. There are so many different lymphocytes that mutations affect only 8% of them, so 92% of them can locate and destroy infected cells.