Good news for a coronavirus vaccine: Human immune system offers robust response, study shows

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Information about immunity to SARS-CoV-2, both in the context of COVID-19 disease pathogenesis and in the context of how to develop a good vaccine, remains limited. But developing a vaccine and predicting how the coronavirus pandemic will unfold until such a vaccine is available are both contingent upon the understanding of whether the immune system can mount a substantial and lasting response to SARS-CoV-2 and whether exposure to other, common, circulating coronaviruses provides any kind of protective immunity.

[One] study documents a robust antiviral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in a group of 20 adults who had recovered from COVID-19. The findings show that the body’s immune system is able to recognize SARS-CoV-2 in many ways, dispelling fears that the virus may elude ongoing efforts to create an effective vaccine.

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The findings are “good news”, tweeted Crotty, for “coronavirus vaccine development, understanding disease, and even modeling the future course of the pandemic.”

They also showed that 100% of COVID-19 cases made antibodies and CD4 T cells. Also, 70% of COVID-19 cases made measurable CD8 T cells. “Our data show that the virus induces what you would expect from a typical, successful antiviral response,” said [researcher Shane] Crotty.

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