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Immune cells are fighting off COVID-19 six months after infection, new study finds

Immunity to COVID-19 is lasting for at least six months for some patients, a new study finds.

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In this undated image from video provided by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, scientists work with a bioreactor at a company facility in New York state, for efforts on an experimental coronavirus antibody drug. Antibodies are proteins the body makes when an infection occurs; they attach to a virus and help the immune system eliminate it.

In this undated image from video provided by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, scientists work with a bioreactor at a company facility in New York state, for efforts on an experimental coronavirus antibody drug. Antibodies are proteins the body makes when an infection occurs; they attach to a virus and help the immune system eliminate it.

Regeneron via Associated Press

A new study has found that immunity cells are fighting off COVID-19 within six months after the first infection.

  • The research comes from the U.K. Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC), Public Health England and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

The researchers said they have seen “robust T-cell responses” in coronavirus patients about six months after infection, which is a sign that the immunity lasts for at least half a year.

  • T-cells attack infected cells and help create more antibodies in the immune system, CNBC reports.
  • Scientists have been reviewing the T-cell response to the coronavirus to see how long immunity might last for COVID-19 patients, according to CNBC.

A look at the study:

The study reviewed 100 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 in March and April of 2020. These patients, though, were not hospitalized.

  • All patients experienced mild or moderate symptoms, or were asymptomatic.

The researchers reviewed blood samples and serum samples to see how long the cells might have lasted.

  • “T-cell responses were present in all individuals at six months after SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the study said.
  • Researchers concluded “that a robust cellular memory against the virus persists for at least six months.”

Flashback:

In September, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found humans create a new round of antibodies a month or two after infection. The antibodies will last for four months and then fade shortly after, as I wrote for the Deseret News.