The study was carried out by researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology in California and shows promising results to assist vaccine development to fight COVID-19.
The team's findings were published in the journal Cell.
Integral for developing a vaccine and treatment
"If we had seen only marginal immune responses, we would have been concerned," Alessandro Sette, a professor at the Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research and author of the study said, "but what we see is a very robust T cell response against the spike protein, which is the target of most ongoing COVID-19 efforts, as well as other viral proteins."
The study observed 20 people who had recovered from COVID-19. The study's findings are important as they'll help shape the understanding of how the body reacts and builds immunity to the virus, which researchers need in order to develop a vaccine.
As Sette himself said "These findings are really good news for vaccine development."
The spike protein has been identified by researchers around the world as the main reason how the coronavirus invades human cells. The protein latches itself to human cell receptors then fuses to their membranes, which allows the virus to enter.
"We specifically chose to study people who had a normal disease course and didn’t require hospitalization to provide a solid benchmark for what a normal immune response looks like, since the virus can do some very unusual things in some people," Sette explained.
All 20 patients observed in this study had a healthy T cell, which plays an integral role in the immune system, a response that assisted their body to produce antibodies. These then eliminated virus-infected cells.
It's a good day for science and for the world as they rush to find antibody answers against COVID-19. You can keep updated with La Jolla Institute for Immunology's research below, via their YouTube channel.
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