Despite everyday interaction with Covid-19 patients during the early stages of the epidemic, several health personnel remained healthy. According to a research from the University of Gothenburg, the reason appears to be an antidote in the immune system: IgA antibodies against COVID-19.
To better understand how the immune system builds up its defences against COVID-19, a team of researchers from the University’s Sahlgrenska Academy followed 156 staff at five primary care health clinics in the Gothenburg region affiliated with the Nötkärnan group for six months.
Recruited in April and May 2020, none of them had been immunised against COVID-19, and the majority of them worked with infected patients on a daily basis.
The presence of IgA (immunoglobulin A) in their respiratory system appears to have prevented some of the workers from contracting the sickness. These antibodies, which are present naturally in mucous membrane secretions in the airways and gastrointestinal system, can protect the body by adhering to viruses and other invading organisms.
One in ten people is safe
According to the study’s findings, which were published in the European Journal of Immunology, one-third of the caregivers produced antibodies against COVID-19. Based on antibody patterns and COVID-19 incidence, these participants were divided into two groups.
One group that exclusively possessed IgA antibodies never succumbed to COVID-19. Participants in the other group had IgG antibodies as well as T cells and got the sickness. The acquired immune system also includes IgG antibodies and T cells, which identify and protect us against viruses, for example.
Christine Wenners, Professor of Clinical Bacteriology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, and senior physician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, and Kristina Eriksson, Professor of Viral Immunology at Sahlgrenska Academy, were the researchers.
“We are all IgA positive. COVID-19 is an illness that spreads through mucous membranes, and it is present on those membranes. We believed it was vital to look at what happened when perfectly healthy persons were exposed to the coronavirus before vaccines were available “According to Wenner’s.
“Of the participants in our study, none whom contracted Covid-19 required hospitalization. A lot of other research has concerned the most seriously ill patients, who have been hospitalized and in neediof ntensive care.”
Focus on health factors
The current study aimed to uncover health parameters that appeared to offer COVID-19 protection. Numerous variables were discovered through thorough questionnaire surveys, blood testing, and other methods. When a subject had nasal congestion, a cough, red eyes, changes in taste, or anything else that may indicate an infection, they were required to answer questionnaires and undergo a PCR test.
The participants who did not test positive or were unwell all had IgA antibodies, which bind to the coronavirus. Other characteristics that provided protection against infection were being female and having a respiratory allergy. The data, however, does not support the notion that those who do not have antibodies against COVID-19 have protective T cells.
“A large portion of Covid-related research has focused on IgG antibodies and T cells. The fascinating part is that when we look at other people’s publications and tables, we discover proof for our own conclusion concerning IgA. However, it is not something that those studies have highlighted “According to Wenner’s.