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Articles on Antibodies

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With mask mandates and vaccine requirements lifting, public health information remains crucial so people can weigh their own COVID-19 risks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Adapting to life with COVID-19: Lessons our own immune system can teach us about public health information

To help people make informed decisions about ongoing COVID-19 risks, public health messaging needs to adapt as the pandemic evolves, just as immune systems adapt to new viruses and variants.
Researchers can test blood samples taken for other reasons to see if patients have previously had COVID-19. Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 official counts can miss mild cases – here’s how serosurveys that analyze blood for signs of past infection can help

Your blood can hold a record of past illnesses. That information can reveal how many people have had a certain infection – like 58% of Americans having had COVID-19 by the end of February 2022.
Researchers are working to develop vaccines that provide long-term immune protection from COVID-19. Marko Geber/Digital Vision via Getty Images

How long does protective immunity against COVID-19 last after infection or vaccination? Two immunologists explain

Because COVID-19 is a relatively new virus, researchers still aren’t sure exactly how long vaccines and prior infections provide protection.
New variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, arise through mutations when the virus replicates in an infected host’s cells. (NIAID, cropped from original)

How new COVID-19 variants emerge: Natural selection and the evolution of SARS-CoV-2

COVID-19 variants are the products of the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They arise via mutations, but other forces also have roles to play in the generation and transmission of variants.
Preliminary research suggests that the omicron variant may potentially induce a robust immune response. Olga Siletskaya/Moment via Getty Images

Is the omicron variant Mother Nature’s way of vaccinating the masses and curbing the pandemic?

Some of the omicron variant’s unique properties – such as its ability to spread rapidly while causing milder COVID-19 infections – could usher in a new phase of the pandemic.
The omicron variant possesses numerous mutations in the spike protein, the knob-like protrusions (in red) that allow the virus to invade other cells. Juan Gaertner/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Will omicron – the new coronavirus variant of concern – be more contagious than delta? A virus evolution expert explains what researchers know and what they don’t

It’s too early to say whether the newly identified omicron variant is going to overtake delta. But particular mutations in the new strain have researchers deeply concerned.
Pregnancy poses significant risks for severe illness or death from COVID-19, for both mother and baby. ArtMarie/E+ via Getty Images

Vaccination against COVID-19 supports a healthy pregnancy by protecting both mother and child – an immunologist explains the maternal immune response

In light of mounting research showing the serious risks of contracting COVID-19 during pregnancy, the CDC is re-upping its urgency that pregnant women get their shots.

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