Home Systems biology Our immune systems remember COVID-19 and fight its variants, study finds

Our immune systems remember COVID-19 and fight its variants, study finds

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers wanted to know how resilient humans are to an onslaught of new variants.

But, to determine whether our immune system is up to the task would require a mathematical feat. So the researchers turned to sophisticated computer models to find the answer.

Think of the coronavirus as one side of a zipper and the other side of your immune system.

If every tooth matches and you can close it, your immune system is able to block the invaders – but if the teeth don’t match and the sides can’t slide together, then your immune system can’t match the invading molecular virus. . rooms.

We’re not talking about antibodies, we’re talking about T cells.

“That side of the immune system is definitely more secure and definitely more robust,” said Dr. Eric Vail, director of molecular pathology at Cedars-Sinai.

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A zipper is a simple analogy of the HLA types found on human T cells and parts of antigens found on viruses. We need our HLAs to recognize viruses so we can defend ourselves.

“Can your body recognize the virus when it arrives? (Do) the markers on your immune cells… even have the ability to see it?”

Vail says a new report in Computational Biology PLOS is reassuring. Although researchers have identified variants that may evade our body’s immune response, there is good news. Scientists only detected a failure up to 15% of the time.

“We still have a huge amount of functional reserve. They’ve been tested against 90% of the world’s population. But in that 90%, the worst that happened was a 15% drop,” he said. declared.

The study found that over the past two years, most people’s T cells have developed a memory that kicks in when faced with different variants. Exposure is part of the reason, but Vail says much of the credit goes to vaccines.

“It’s basically a workout for your immune system. It trains it to recognize and see a pathogen and react against it in a way that protects you,” Vail said.

His advice is to get vaccinated and boosted. The more training, the better.

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