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posted by martyb on Friday May 28 2021, @09:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the if-there-are-antibodies-are-there-also-unclebodies? dept.

Up to now, people have been discouraged from getting antibody tests to measure what their COVID vaccination did. The reasoning behind that advice is that since nobody knew what a given level meant in actionable terms, it was not useful information.

That just changed.

Nature has published the results of research into the relationship between antibody levels post-vaccination and vaccine efficacy, with plenty of different vaccines.

An easy-to-read overview is at https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01372-6

The full paper, with the methodology and conclusions, is at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01377-8 (It looks like careful work but it's over my head in places.)

The bottom line is that they found a clear correlation and protection levels keep going up as antibody levels go up, though there's some diminishing returns at the very top end where the mRNA vaccines are.

The cool part is they figured out what antibody level would give you the 50% protection that we would have been willing to accept from a vaccine. The mRNA vaccines leave you with an order of magnitude more. That's quite a comforting safety factor against variants and gradual decline.

Journal References:
1.) Smriti Mallapaty. Scientists zero in on long-sought marker of COVID-vaccine efficacy, (DOI: 10.1038/d41586-021-01372-6)
2.) David S. Khoury, Deborah Cromer, Arnold Reynaldi, et al. Neutralizing antibody levels are highly predictive of immune protection from symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection [open], Nature Medicine (DOI: 10.1038/s41591-021-01377-8)


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  • (Score: -1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @12:57PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @12:57PM (#1139610)

    That order of magnitude is not a good thing. You do not want super strong immunity towards one variant because that stops you from getting full immunity to future variants. In fact the reason you need a booster is because your body knows to wait for multiple exposures to get an idea of the variation before mounting a full response. Artificially injecting the exact same sequence multiple times bypasses this safegaurd.

    Original antigenic sin has already been seen for Moderna boosters. See figure 3d, which shows that even after boosted with a vaccine designed for the south africa variant, neutralization of that variant could not rise to the same level as for the original strain.
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.05.21256716v1 [medrxiv.org]

    Once you are vaccinated like this, you cannot raise an optimal immune response to similar viruses.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @04:17PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @04:17PM (#1139699)

    towards one variant because that stops you from getting full immunity to future variants.

    citation needed? oh wait, there isn't know, just flawed correlation.

    neutralization of that variant could not rise to the same level as for the original strain.

    and it's not how it works. you should read what you actually linked. Here, I quote,

    geometric mean titers versus the wild-type strain remained above levels likely to be protective. Two weeks after the booster vaccinations, titers against the wild-type original strain, B.1.351, and P.1 variants increased to levels similar to or higher than peak titers after the primary series vaccinations. Although both mRNA-1273 and mRNA-1273.351 boosted neutralization of the wild-type original strain, and B.1.351 and P.1 variants, mRNA-1273.351 appeared to be more effective at increasing neutralization of the B.1.351 virus versus a boost with mRNA-1273.

    it means the modified vaccine was better vs. the mutant than boosting with original, but the trial continues. So, not sure if you are trying to be a troll or just not understanding how things work, but it clearly states that booster vaccine is working well vs. covid. And considering that original already proved to be affective vs. the variant, it's not surprising you don't get too many new antibodies when then old ones are already effective. If they weren't, then it would be like a new virus and everyone would be fucked. But it's not like that.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @04:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28 2021, @04:27PM (#1139708)

      Look at figure 3d, the SA booster was unable to boost antibodies vs the SA strain to the same level as the original strain. The immunity is too focused on a strain that no longer exists.

      Original antigenic sin is well known and has been a concern since the beginning.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_antigenic_sin [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 2) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Friday May 28 2021, @06:25PM (1 child)

      by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Friday May 28 2021, @06:25PM (#1139782)

      Even without a booster those enormous antibody levels can make up for some loss of binding effectiveness to variants. If one antibody molecule falls off, that's OK as long as there's another nearby to take its place.

      The immune system naturally prepares for variants, it turns out. Instead of throwing out all the second-rate matches and only keeping the most effective antibody producing cells, it maintains a suite of antibodies some of which sort of work. When a virus mutates, it may hit one that's already by coincidence effective against it.

      We did evolve to defend against mutating viruses.