Many people are still trying to understand what antibodies to coronavirusare, which are so often written and talked about by the media. Let’s figure out what it is, in simple words.
To begin with, it is necessary to understand what antibodies are in general, in relation not only to the coronavirus. Antibodies (more scientifically called immunoglobulins) are special proteins in the body that are produced by the human immune system in response to the appearance of infection, even if there are no clear manifestations of the disease itself. Antibodies fight the infection, defeat it, and retain information on how to fight a specific disease so that they can be more effective at fighting it next time.
In simple terms, antibodies to coronavirus are special proteins that are released by the immune system when infected with coronavirus, protect the human body, resist infectious disease, defeat it, and also improve the immune system to more effectively fight coronavirus in the next infection. To put it even more simply, antibodies to the coronavirus are the body’s defense against COVID-19. It is also worth understanding that many tests (not only for coronavirus) are made on the basis of antibodies in the human body – if there are antibodies, then there is (or was) an infection in the human body.
Coronavirus antibodies – what are they?
- IgM. In the first days after infection, the immune system synthesizes IgM (immunoglobulins M). This is a sign of acute primary infection, that is, IgM is an acute phase antibody. The IgM test may give a false positive result due to a possible non-specific reaction. Roughly speaking, IgM can be released in a number of other situations, including chronic inflammatory processes and even pregnancy. In coronavirus, IgMs persist in the human body for 1-3 months, and in other infectious diseases, they disappear after a month.
- IgA. Immunoglobulins, which also appear in the acute period of infection. they protect the mucous membranes from coronavirus (the mucous membrane is the inner shell of hollow organs that communicate with the external environment. the mucous membrane covers the surfaces of the respiratory organs, urinary, genital and digestive systems, the inner surfaces of the eye eyelids and auditory passages). These antibodies are produced for coronavirus, i.e. they are more selective than IgM.
- IgG. Antibodies that do not fight the coronavirus directly, but store information about it for subsequent “collisions”. They appear in the body about 1.5 months after infection, and are a kind of” instruction “or” set of tools ” to fight infection. In most cases, these instructions are saved forever, sometimes for several years. It is for this reason that vaccinations are made (vaccination is the introduction of a vaccine in order to stimulate the body’s immune system to protect it from an infectious disease). Alas, at the moment, the mechanisms of the development of the immune response to coronavirus are only being studied – it is necessary to find out what kind of immunity is formed-persistent or temporary.