People infected with the original strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 to develop a stable antibody response against the classic version of the coronavirus, but these antibodies are useless against new strains. This conclusion was reached by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose study is published in the journal Nature Communications.
The researchers analyzed published articles about patients with COVID-19 in search of data on the sequence of antibodies produced by them. They focused on antibodies against S-protein, which binds to the receptors of human cells, contributing to infection. It turned out that the old antibodies do not have an affinity for the mutant variants of the S-protein characteristic of the new strains.
According to scientists, this is important for the ability of new variants to re-infect people infected with earlier versions of the virus and maintain the effectiveness of vaccines and develop possible boosters that support immunity against coronavirus.
In the future, the researchers plan to conduct similar studies characterizing the responses of antibodies to the delta variant of the coronavirus and other disturbing forms of SARS-CoV-2.