- That study was the first to use multiple live SARS-CoV-2 variants to measure cross-neutralization of blood serum from breakthrough cases.
- Researchers recruited a total of 104 people, all OHSU employees who were vaccinated by the Pfizer vaccine.
- OHSU scientists say they haven’t tested multiple rounds of natural infection.
As per research by OHSU there may be a robust immunity formed in the body from covid whether one is vaccinated or not. The researchers also published a study in December that describes the extremely high levels of the immune response following the breakthrough infection.
The research on robust immunity from covid
The research follows an OHSU study published in December that described extremely high levels of the immune response following breakthrough infections — so-called “super immunity.” That study was the first to use multiple live SARS-CoV-2 variants to measure cross-neutralization of blood serum from breakthrough cases.
The new study found that it doesn’t matter whether someone gets a breakthrough infection or gets vaccinated after a natural infection. In both cases, the immune response measured in blood serum revealed antibodies that were equally more abundant and more potent — at least 10 times more potent — than immunity generated by vaccination alone.
The study was done before the emergence of the highly transmissible omicron variant, but researchers expect the hybrid immune responses would be similar.
“The likelihood of getting breakthrough infections is high because there is so much virus around us right now,” Tafesse said.
Researchers recruited a total of 104 people, all OHSU employees who were vaccinated by the Pfizer vaccine, and then carefully divided them into three groups: 42 who were vaccinated with no infection, 31 who were vaccinated after an infection, and 31 who had breakthrough infections following vaccination.
Controlling for age, sex and time from vaccination and infection, the researchers drew blood samples from each participant and exposed the samples to three variants of the live SARS-CoV-2 virus in a Biosafety Level 3 lab on OHSU’s Marquam Hill campus.
They found both of the groups with “hybrid immunity” generated greater levels of immunity compared with the group that was vaccinated with no infection.
A new breakthrough bringing the pandemic to the end
With the wildly contagious omicron variant now circulating across the globe, the new findings suggest each new breakthrough infection potentially brings the pandemic closer to the end.
Over time, the virus will run into an ever-expanding pool of human immunity.
With the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant, many unvaccinated people who were previously infected are likely to confront the virus again. For that group, previous research reveals a much more variable level of immune response than vaccination, Messer said.
“I can guarantee that such immunity will be variable, with some people getting equivalent immunity to vaccination, but most will not,” he said. “And there is no way, short of laboratory testing, to know who gets what immunity. Vaccination makes it much more likely to be assured of a good immune response.”
“Immunity from natural infection alone is variable. Some people produce a strong response and others do not,” said Curlin, associate professor of medicine (infectious diseases) in the OHSU School of Medicine and director of OHSU Occupational Health. But vaccination combined with immunity from infection almost always provides very strong responses.
“These results, together with our previous work, point to a time when SARS-CoV-2 may become a mostly mild endemic infection like a seasonal respiratory tract infection, instead of a worldwide pandemic.”
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Source: OHSU news