Researchers at the Doherty Institute have made a discovery about how the human body recovers from the Coronavirus that may help increase the speed of vaccines, treatments, and help doctors understand better who is most at risk when they contract the disease.
The researchers have mapped the way patient’s immune systems respond to the Coronavirus and found that healthy people can expect to fight off a mild to moderate case of the virus in just 3 days.
The antibodies that the human immune system releases to fight the virus are very similar to the flu. “It suggests to us that we can fight the virus and we can drive recovery from COVID-19,” said Professor Katherine Kedzierska.
The scientists discovered that in just 3 days after hospital admission specific cells in the blood could be seen that would indicate clinical recovery.
The scientists came to this realization by studying the first Coronavirus victim in Australia, a 47-year-old woman from Wuhan. They then studied the blood of 4 Australian patients and found the same. That patients recover 3 days after the antibodies in the blood begin to build up.
The identification of the specific antibodies that trigger this recovery is the key to developing a vaccine or treatments for the Coronavirus. This is because most vaccines are based on antibody response said Professor Kedzierska.
This method can also be used to help patients who are unable to fight off the virus on their own and need additional intervention.
These patients can be identified by looking for these antibodies in their blood throughout their illness. When patients are not showing antibodies, it means that they are not recovering.