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Covid-19: Not all patients develop protective antibodies

laboratory © MedUni Wien

A laboratory test developed by a second study group at the university has now discovered that around 60% of patients have protective antibodies. Moreover, some antibodies can even "promote" the COVID-19 pathogens. The scientists at the Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology recently published their findings in the scientific journal "Allergy". Rudolf Valenta and his team developed an ELISA laboratory test to identify patients who had developed protective antibodies after having COVID-19. This showed that only 60% of patients convalescing from COVID-19 developed antibodies that inhibit the interaction of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) with ACE2, according to a press release issued by the Medical University of Vienna. The ACE2 (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2) receptor for SARS-CoV-2 onto which the virus docks in the cells occurs predominantly in the respiratory tract and other organs affected by the virus.

Furthermore, the scientists also discovered a previously unknown fact. Certain immunocomplexes consisting of RBD and patient antibodies have a higher binding rate to ACE2. This is a hitherto unknown mechanism that enables the virus to dock onto cells more easily.

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