LivingHow is superimmunity achieved against COVID-19?

How is superimmunity achieved against COVID-19?

A study carried out by the Oregon Health and Science University, in the United States, has given the keys to achieving superimmunity against COVID-19 . There are two ways to achieve it: if you get infected after getting vaccinated or if you get infected and later get vaccinated . Both pathways would lead to more or less equal levels of enhanced immune protection. The study has been published in the journal Science Immunology .

“There’s no difference between getting infected and then getting vaccinated, or getting vaccinated and then getting an infection. In either case, you’re going to get a very, very robust, surprisingly high immune response,” says study co-author Dr. Fikadu Tafesse. and adjunct professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Oregon College of Medicine.

More specifically, the immune response measured in the blood serum revealed that in both cases the antibodies were more abundant and more effective than those generated only with the vaccine, at least 1000% more effective.

It is true that the study was carried out last December, before omicron made an appearance. There it was seen that vaccinated people who became infected with COVID increased their immune response to variants of the virus, generating a kind of superimmunity. However, scientists believe hybrid immune responses will be similar with the current variant .

The researchers make clear in the publication the importance of vaccination . In his publication the following can be read: “it is well established that natural infection alone provides short-term protection against infection, which demonstrates the importance of vaccination, regardless of the history of infection. Since vaccination protects against severe disease and death, it is safer for individuals to be vaccinated earlier than after natural infection .”

It has previously been observed that, the older you are, the worse the levels of neutralizing antibodies after vaccination. “The relationship between age and antibody levels after natural infection is notably more complex, with a peak in antibody levels observed between 60 and 80 years of age. The exact reasons for this association remain to be determined, but one hypothesis is that greater disease severity among older individuals leads to a greater overall humoral response. These two opposing trends may hide any age-dependence of antibody levels in the present study among patients with humoral responses resulting from both vaccination and natural infection.

The study involved 104 people, all of them workers at the University of Oregon and who were vaccinated with Pfizer. The participants were divided into three groups: 42 who were vaccinated without any infection, 31 who were vaccinated after infection, and 31 who had breakthrough infections after vaccination.

Taking into account age, sex, and time since the needle stick and infection, the researchers took blood samples from the participants and exposed them to three variants of the live SARS-CoV-2 virus. They found that the two “hybrid immunity” groups generated higher levels of immunity compared to the vaccinated group that had not been infected.

Scientists hope that those vaccinated will end up with advanced infections that would give them a form of hybrid immunity. The idea is that over time the virus will face a growing reservoir of immunity.


Referencia: Vaccination before or after SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to robust humoral response and antibodies that effectively neutralize variants, Timothy A. Bates, Savannah K. McBride, Hans C. Leier, Gaelen Guzman, Zoe L. Lyski, Devin Schoen, Bradie Winders, Joon-Yong Lee, David Xthona Lee, William B. Messer, Marcel E. Curlin, Fikadu G. Tafesse; Science Immunology; 25 Jan 2022;


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