Older people have more COVID-19 antibodies, study finds

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With the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants worldwide, the pandemic’s spread is accelerating.

In a recent study published in Scientific Reports, researchers found that those who received the Pfizer BioNTech or AstraZeneca vaccine had antibody levels that were much higher than infected individuals.

Moreover, older people produced more antibodies than adults under 50 years of age.

The study is from Université de Montréal and was conducted by Joelle Pelletier et al.

In the study, 32 non-hospitalized COVID-19 positive Canadian adults were recruited 14 to 21 days after being diagnosed through PCR testing. This was in 2020, before the Beta, Delta and Gamma variants emerged.

The team found everyone who had been infected produced antibodies, but older people produced more than adults under 50 years of age.

In addition, antibodies were still present in their bloodstream 16 weeks after their diagnosis.

Antibodies produced after an infection by the original, “native” strain of the virus also reacted to SARS-CoV-2 variants that emerged in subsequent waves, namely Beta (South Africa), Delta (India) and Gamma (Brazil), but to a lesser extent: a reduction of 30 to 50%.

The team says when someone who has had a mild case of COVID is vaccinated, the antibody level in their blood doubles compared to an unvaccinated person who has been infected by the virus. Their antibodies are also better able to prevent spike-ACE-2 interaction.

They also found samples from an individual younger than 49 whose infection didn’t produce antibodies inhibiting spike-ACE-2 interaction, unlike vaccination.

This suggests that vaccination increases protection against the Delta variant among people previously infected by the native strain.

The scientists believe more research should be conducted to determine the best combination for maintaining the most effective level of antibodies reactive to all variants of the virus.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about novel vaccine method to prevent COVID-19 infection, and two paths toward ‘super immunity’ to COVID-19.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about antibodies that can neutralize Omicron, and results showing this drug treatment may prevent COVID death and lung damage.

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