A study published in the journal Nature reported that natural viral infection can generate antibodies of greater duration and adaptability to the variants against the antibodies generated by vaccination. According to Michel Nussenzweig, professor in the laboratory of molecular immunology at Rockefeller University, this is due to the behavior of memory B cells (MBC).
Vaccination aims to produce antibodies in the body to resist infections from various diseases and conditions. Likewise, among the most efficient defense mechanisms is to expose MBC memory cells to vectors with genetic material to teach them to fight them. Scientists in charge of the professor reported for the EurekAlert network, the time and effectiveness of protection may vary based on the disease and form of exposure to pathogens. In the case of the Spanish flu, these cells can generate enough antibodies for up to a century after being inoculated.
The Nussenzweig research team reported, Covid-19 disease produces an evolution of MBCs that allows them to create robust and adaptable antibodies for almost a year. Based on this information, tests were carried out to compare the evolution of antibodies in patients recovered from natural infection and patients vaccinated with the mRNA vector: Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. After 5 months, the effects on the antibodies show an immunity advantage in natural infections, with the development of more antibodies for a double period of time. Although vaccination loses effectiveness and can be vulnerable to new infections and variants of the Sars-Cov-2 virus, an infection has worse consequences for the body, specialists determined.
Another factor highlighted by the study is the role of MBC in severe infection and long-term covid. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines this type of Covid-19 as a version of the disease with persistent symptoms and discomfort. With population percentages ranging between 10% and 20% of patients infected by Sars-Cov-2. According to the document published in Nature, although vaccination antibodies may lose effectiveness, the immune response helps prevent severe cases and persistent discomforts.
Official figures indicated, the cases of Covid-19 amount to 237 million 392 thousand 811; with a total of 214 million 508 thousand 494 recovered patients. Along this line, epidemiology and molecular biology specialists maintain efforts to study the prevalence of MBC, both in people who were infected by the Sars-Cov-2 virus, and those who were vaccinated. The Rockefeller University professor warned, to achieve an increase in antibodies by vaccination that rival natural infection, a third booster application in the doses of mRNA could be necessary, corresponding to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.