fbpx
Connect with us

Health

First-line immune defences against COVID-19 are short-lived and may explain reinfection

A new study finds that antibodies produced in the nose decline nine months after COVID-19 infection, while antibodies found in the blood last at least a year.

Published

on

Newswise — A new study finds that antibodies produced in the nose decline nine months after COVID-19 infection, while antibodies found in the blood last at least a year.

Antibodies in the nasal fluid (known as immunoglobulin A, or IgA) provide first-line defence against COVID-19 by blocking SARS-CoV-2 virus when it first enters the respiratory tract. These antibodies are very effective at preventing the virus from entering cells and causing infection.

However, the investigators found that the nasal antibodies were only present in those recently infected and were particularly short-lived against the Omicron variant, compared to earlier variants.

These new findings – which are published in eBioMedicine – may explain why people who have recovered from COVID are at risk of reinfection, and especially with Omicron and its subvariants.

The study also found that vaccination is very effective in creating and boosting antibodies in the blood, which prevent severe disease, but had very little effect on nasal IgA levels.

First author of the study, Dr Felicity Liew, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, said: “Before our study, it was unclear how long these important nasal antibodies lasted. Our study found durable immune responses after infection and vaccination, but these key nasal antibodies were shorter-lived than those in the blood. While blood antibodies help to protect against disease, nasal antibodies can prevent infection altogether. This might be an important factor behind repeat infections with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its new variants.”

The researchers note that studies that directly study these nasal antibodies and reinfections are needed to confirm their results.

The research was led by teams from Imperial College London and the University of Liverpool. It studied almost 450 people who had been hospitalised with COVID-19 between February 2020 and March 2021, before the emergence of Omicron variant and prior to vaccine rollout.

The study also found that whilst current vaccines are effective at boosting blood antibody which can prevent serious illness and death, they do not significantly boost nasal IgA antibodies.

The researchers call for the next generation of vaccines to include nasal spray or inhaled vaccines that target these antibodies more effectively. They say that vaccines capable of boosting these antibodies could potentially reduce infections more effectively and prevent transmission.

Co-senior author of the study, Professor Peter Openshaw, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, said: “Our results highlight a need for nasal spray vaccines that can boost these local antibodies in the nose and lungs. Such vaccines might be able to prevent people from getting infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and reduce transmission of the virus between people. This could help us to better control the pandemic and stop new variants emerging.”

He continues: “Our current vaccines are designed to reduce severe disease and death and are dramatically effective in this aim. It’s now essential to also develop nasal spray vaccines that can provide better protection against infection. It’s brilliant that current vaccines mean fewer people are becoming seriously ill, but it would be even better if we could prevent them from getting infected and transmitting the virus.”

The study analysed antibodies of the participants to understand how long nasal antibodies lasted, compared with antibodies found in the blood. They also studied the effect of subsequent COVID-19 vaccines on antibodies in the nose and blood.

Samples were taken when people were hospitalised and at six months and one year after. Since most people were vaccinated during the study, many samples were also taken before and after vaccination.

They measured how well the antibodies neutralised the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the Delta and Omicron variants to see how long the antibodies were effective for after infection or vaccination.

The study included 446 people admitted to hospital in the early phase of the pandemic, including 141 who provided samples at the start of the study and six and 12 months later. For participants who only had one sample taken during the 12-month period of study, the researchers used modelling to estimate how the average antibody responses changed over time.

Of those who confirmed whether they had been vaccinated (323 people), 95% (307 people) received their first vaccination during the study follow-up period. This led to increases in all nasal and blood antibodies, but the change in the first-line defence nasal antibodies (IgA) was small and temporary. The researchers found that the participants’ sex, disease severity and age did not impact how long their nasal immunity lasted, but caution that their study was only in people with severe disease that required hospitalisation.

They also found that blood antibody from participants continued to bind the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the Delta and Omicron variants a year after infection, but found that booster vaccines are needed to maintain this immunity.

Co-senior author of the study, Dr Lance Turtle, Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Liverpool and Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Liverpool University Hospitals, said: “Our study suggests that this first-line defence immunity is separate from other immune responses, and although it is increased by vaccination and infection, it only lasts for about nine months. Nonetheless, booster vaccines can increase it slightly and otherwise have a significant impact on other areas of immunity, protecting against severe disease and death very effectively, so remain very important.”

The researchers note that their study did not screen participants for reinfection, but that this was unlikely to have occurred since the study took place during periods of national restrictions and lockdowns when COVID-19 incidence was low and people were not mixing. In a preliminary analysis, they found only two cases of reinfection in their study, suggesting that the overall trends seen are accurate.

The study was supported by the ISARIC4C, UKCIC and PHOSP-COVID consortia. It was jointly funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research, UK Research and Innovation and the Medical Research Council.

This press release uses a labelling system developed by the Academy of Medical Sciences to improve the communication of evidence. For more information, please see: http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AMS-press-release-labelling-system-GUIDANCE.pdf

About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is a global top ten university with a world-class reputation. The College’s 22,000 students and 8,000 staff are working to solve the biggest challenges in science, medicine, engineering and business.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 found that it has a greater proportion of world-leading research than any other UK university, it was named University of the Year 2022 according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, University of the Year for Student Experience 2022 by the Good University Guide, and awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its COVID-19 response. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)

The mission of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. We do this by:

– Funding high quality, timely research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care;
– Investing in world-class expertise, facilities and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services;
– Partnering with patients, service users, carers and communities, improving the relevance, quality and impact of our research;
– Attracting, training and supporting the best researchers to tackle complex health and social care challenges;
– Collaborating with other public funders, charities and industry to help shape a cohesive and globally competitive research system;
– Funding applied global health research and training to meet the needs of the poorest people in low and middle income countries.

NIHR is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. Its work in low and middle income countries is principally funded through UK Aid from the UK government.

LinkL:

Source: Imperial College London

Author


Discover more from Daily News

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

health and wellness

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy 101: What every student-athlete should know

Published

on

(Family Features) You may find it difficult to wrap your mind around the idea of an energetic student-athlete with a cardiac diagnosis. Heart conditions may be more often associated with older individuals, but you might be surprised to learn hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common condition responsible for sudden cardiac death in young athletes. In fact, it’s the cause of 40% of sudden cardiac death cases.

It’s estimated 1 in every 500 adults living in the United States has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, according to the American Heart Association, but a significant percentage are undiagnosed. More than 80% of individuals who experience this condition show no signs or symptoms before sudden cardiac death. While sudden cardiac death is rare, it can occur during exercise or in its aftermath. That’s why it’s important for student-athletes and their loved ones to learn more about this condition and talk to a doctor about their risk.

With proper knowledge and the support of a skilled care team, it’s possible to manage hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with heart-healthy actions to prevent complications or worsening cardiovascular conditions like atrial fibrillation (a quivering or irregular heartbeat), stroke or heart failure. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy awareness and education for athletes by the American Heart Association is made possible in part by a grant from the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation.

What is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common form of inherited heart disease and can affect people of any age. It’s defined by thickening and stiffening of the walls of the heart. The heart’s chambers cannot fill up or pump blood out adequately, so the heart is unable to function normally.

There are different types of this condition. Most people have a form of the disease in which the wall that separates the two bottom chambers of the heart (the septum) becomes enlarged and restricts blood flow out of the heart (obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy).

However, sometimes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occurs without significant blocking of blood flow (nonobstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). The heart’s main pumping chamber is still thickened and may become increasingly stiff, reducing the amount of blood taken in then pumped out to the body with each heartbeat.

What are possible symptoms?
Symptoms can include:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • heart palpitations
  • fatigue

The severity of symptoms can vary, but if you experience them or if you have a family history of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or sudden cardiac death, it may be a good idea to speak to your doctor about whether you have this condition.

For some people, symptoms can get worse and new symptoms can appear over time, resulting in people dealing with harsher effects and a diminished ability to do the activities they love. This decrease in functions can be one of the most challenging aspects of the disease. Keeping your health care team aware of any new or changing symptoms allows them to work with you to develop a plan to manage these symptoms and reduce their impact.

How is hypertrophic cardiomyopathydiagnosed?
Medical history, family history, a physical exam and diagnostic test results all factor into a diagnosis. A common diagnostic test is an echocardiogram that assesses the thickness of the heart muscle and observes blood flow from the heart.

If anyone in your family has been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, other heart diseases or has been told they had thick heart walls, you should share that information with your doctor and discuss the need for genetic testing. Because this condition is hereditary, first-degree relatives, which include siblings and parents, should be checked.

Learn more at heart.org/HCMStudentAthlete.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock


SOURCE:
American Heart Association

https://stmdailynews.com/category/lifestyle

Author


Discover more from Daily News

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Continue Reading

Health

Staying Safe During Summer Vacations: 5 tips for traveling with health conditions

Published

on

Watching your health during Summer Vacation

(Family Features) From staycations and road trips to Caribbean getaways and coastal cruises, summertime offers the chance to escape and unwind with a much needed (and deserved) vacation. However, for people living with health conditions like heart disease or stroke, leaving home can pose special challenges.

As travel season takes shape, the experts at the American Heart Association – celebrating 100 years of lifesaving service as the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all – recommends a few important tips to ease on-the-go woes.

“As we look forward to summer, many people will be traveling to spend treasured time with family and friends, or maybe just to enjoy some relaxation on the beach,” said Gladys Velarde, M.D., FAHA, professor of medicine and national volunteer with the American Heart Association. “It’s not always that simple for people who have chronic health conditions that require multiple medications or special medical equipment. There are also considerations for how to maintain your health and not put yourself at increased risk.”

Velarde said that doesn’t mean travel is off limits if you have a chronic health condition. A little planning and preparation can reduce stress and prepare you for your next big adventure.

Check In with Your Health Care Provider
Speak with your primary care physician or specialist about your travel plans and any special considerations related to your health. He or she can offer guidance on any restrictions or precautions you should keep in mind. Carry a list of all medications, including dosages and pharmacy information. Also consider carrying a copy of key medical records and a list of phone numbers, including your doctors and emergency contacts.

Manage Your Medications
Ensure medications are clearly labeled and that you’ve packed enough to last the entire trip. If you’re traveling across time zones, enlist your health care provider to help adjust medication schedules. Some medications require refrigeration; research how to pack them appropriately for airport security and make sure you’ll have a refrigerator in your lodging.

Plan for Transportation
Whether you’re traveling by plane, bus, train, cruise ship or other means, it’s paramount to plan ahead for special medical equipment. For example, if you use a wheelchair, walker or other assistance for getting around, you may need to check in with the travel company to find out how to properly transport your devices.

Master the Airport
During this especially busy travel season, planning ahead can make the airport experience easier. If you have a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, you may need to go through a special security screening. Walking through a crowded terminal can take its toll, so consider requesting a wheelchair or courtesy cart to get to your gate when booking your ticket.

Long flights may increase your risk for blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Consider wearing compression socks and walk around the cabin while it’s safe and allowed to help improve your circulation.

Know the Signs
While it’s always important to know the signs of heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest, it’s particularly critical while away from home. If you or someone you’re with experience symptoms, call 911. Many airports even offer kiosks where you can learn Hands-Only CPR while waiting for your flight.

“Every individual’s condition is unique, and you’ll want to tailor your travel plans to your specific needs,” Velarde said. “By taking a little time now to plan and prepare, your vacation can be just what the doctor ordered to help you unwind and recharge.”

Learn more about healthy traveling at Heart.org.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


SOURCE:
American Heart Association

Author


Discover more from Daily News

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Continue Reading

Child Health

Illuminating Global Landmarks: Make NF Research Visible

Published

on

Global landmarks are set to illuminate in a stunning display of support for World NF Awareness Day. The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) has organized the “Shine a Light on NF” campaign, which will see nearly 400 famous buildings, bridges, waterfalls, castles, and architectural icons light up in blue and green, the official colors of the neurofibromatosis (NF) cause.

Global landmark illuminated in blue and green for neurofibromatosis and schwannomatosis awareness, highlighting the importance of NF research visibility.
Young man living with neurofibromatosis type 1 surrounded by NF researchers and clinicians

NF is a group of genetic conditions that affects approximately 4 million people worldwide. It is known as either neurofibromatosis or schwannomatosis, and it causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. The impact of NF can be severe, leading to disabilities such as blindness, deafness, bone abnormalities, disfigurement, learning disabilities, disabling pain, and cancer. Despite the significant challenges it poses, there is currently no cure for NF. However, the “Shine a Light on NF” campaign aims to raise awareness and highlight the crucial need for scientific research funding.

The “Shine a Light on NF” campaign, launched by the Children’s Tumor Foundation, has grown substantially over the years. The foundation works in partnership with NF organizations, medical and research institutions, and corporate and media partners around the world to expand global awareness of this rare set of genetic conditions. The involvement of internationally recognized landmarks is a testament to the campaign’s reach.

Landmarks such as Niagara Falls, the National Theatre in London, The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, and The David in Florence are among the many iconic sites that will light up in blue and green this year. This show of unity and support not only raises awareness but also sends a powerful message of solidarity to those affected by NF.

In conjunction with World NF Awareness Day, the Children’s Tumor Foundation is also launching its “Make NF Research Visible” campaign. This initiative focuses on the transformative potential of scientific research in the fight against NF. By highlighting advancements in NF scientific research and clinical care, the campaign showcases the crucial role these efforts play in improving patient outcomes.

As part of the “Make NF Research Visible” campaign, a collection of portraits and stories featuring clinicians, researchers, and patients is being shared. These compelling narratives demonstrate how increased visibility can drive further progress in NF research and provide support to those affected by the condition.

Simon Vukelj, Chief Marketing Officer of the Children’s Tumor Foundation, emphasizes the importance of the “Make NF Research Visible” campaign, stating that it aims to inspire greater support and drive further advancements. By shining a light on the incredible work being done by researchers and clinicians, the foundation aims to brighten the path forward for everyone affected by NF.

Carson McNall, a 16-year-old living with neurofibromatosis type 1, shares his experiences and hopes for a future where NF can be cured. Carson describes the chaos of living with NF at such a young age and dreams of a life free from constant appointments and worries about the future. The “Make NF Research Visible” campaign aims to turn these dreams into reality by amplifying the voices of patients and showcasing how research can transform lives within the NF community.

Neurofibromatosis encompasses a group of genetic conditions that lead to the growth of tumors on nerves throughout the body. The Children’s Tumor Foundation has initiated campaigns like “Shine a Light on NF” and “Make NF Research Visible” to raise awareness and underscore the importance of advancements in scientific research. These efforts highlight the impact of NF on public awareness, diagnosis, clinical care, and ongoing research endeavors towards finding a cure.

As the world witnesses the illumination of global landmarks and engages with the “Make NF Research Visible” campaign, it is a reminder of the power of unity and the potential for scientific advancements to bring hope and transformation to those affected by neurofibromatosis.

For the full, global list of locations Shining a Light on NF, visit ctf.org/shinealight.

For more information about NF Awareness Month and Make NF Visible, visit makenfvisible.org.

For more information about the Children’s Tumor Foundation, visit ctf.org.

About the Children’s Tumor Foundation
The Children’s Tumor Foundation is the world’s leading organization dedicated to funding and driving innovative research that will result in effective treatments for the millions of people worldwide living with NF, a group of genetic conditions that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. Through collaboration with the scientific community, pharmaceutical and biotech industries, and other key partners, we work diligently to accelerate research and development efforts, ensuring that promising treatments reach those who need them. One in every 2,000 people is born with some type of neurofibromatosis or schwannomatosis, which may lead to blindness, deafness, bone abnormalities, disfigurement, learning disabilities, disabling pain, or cancer. NF affects all populations equally, and while there is no cure yet, the Children’s Tumor Foundation mission of driving research, expanding knowledge, and advancing care for the NF community fosters our vision of one day ending NF. For more information, please visit: ctf.org.

https://stmdailynews.com/category/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/health

SOURCE Children’s Tumor Foundation

Author


Discover more from Daily News

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Continue Reading

Trending