Monday , November 29 2021

Immune memory can protect people against new infections after recovering from COVID-19


To date, it has not been clear whether the surviving SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 is a permanent immune memory and therefore can be protected against a new infection.

Several studies have shown that the specific antibody SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in many people who have survived COVID-19 in just a few months and therefore can only provide temporary protection against re-infection.

A research team at the Medical Center – at the University of Freiburg, has been able to show what Dr. Maike Hofmann, Dr. Christoph Neumann-Haefelin and Dr. Robert Thimme have shown: that they can mediate if they become infected again.

It was published in the online edition of the prestigious scientific journal Freiburg Nature Medicine November 12, 2020.

These so-called memory cells after the SARS-CoV-2 infection are similar to those from the real flu. Therefore, we are confident that most survivors of SARS-CoV-2 infection have some protection against SARS-CoV-2 reinfection.

Dr. Maike Hofmann, Scientist, Department of Medicine II, Medical Center – University of Freiburg

Professor Thimme, Medical Director of the Department of Medicine II, emphasizes the importance of a good translational research environment in the current situation, such as the Medical Center – University of Freiburg:

“In order to achieve strong research results in a few months, the close link between clinic and science is a basic requirement at the highest level: On the one hand, patients with COVID-19 continue to be cared for and treated in our wards. has a high impact on viral infections, such as the analysis of immune cells such as hepatitis B and C.

Medical Center – University of Freiburg is not involved in the development of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. However, Dr. Neumann-Haefelin, head of the Gerok Liver Center at Freiburg University Hospital, expressed optimism: “Our results suggest that immunity to SARS-CoV-2 can be achieved after an infection. SARS-CoV-2 “.

“Deciphering complex immune responses has long been part of the research focus of the University and Medical Center – Freiburg University. In its high scientific quality, we can now make an important contribution to the pandemic of the crown,” says Prof. Dr. Norbert Südkamp, ​​Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg.


Journal reference:

Schulien, I., et al. (2020) SARS-CoV-2 specific for SARS-CoV-2 CDS + CoV-2 cells. Nature Medicine.

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