T-cell immunity lasts 17 years in Sars virus, providing hopes for Covid herd immunity, research shows

T-cell research may provide answers to mysteries of Covid-19, Kate Ng reports

Kate Ng
Tuesday 22 September 2020 16:50
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A medical assistant prepares a sample from a patient for a coronavirus (Covid-19) test at an analysis laboratory in Le Peage-de-Roussillon
A medical assistant prepares a sample from a patient for a coronavirus (Covid-19) test at an analysis laboratory in Le Peage-de-Roussillon

Public Health England has partnered with diagnostics company Oxford Immunotec to recruit thousands of people in an effort to find out if they have acquired T-cell immunity to Covid-19.

The new trial follows recent research that showed people infected with a Sars virus similar to Covid-19 developed T-cell immunity that can act up to 17 years, meaning far more people may be immune for a long period of time.

Previously, scientists had hoped that individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, would develop antibodies that would prevent them from getting reinfected, but studies have suggested they vanish after a few months.

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