Sumary of Researchers reveal possible role for anti-idiotype antibodies in long-term effects of COVID-19:
- With around 256 million cases and more than 5 million deaths worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged scientists and those in the medical field.
- These symptoms, known as “long COVID,” and the vaccines’ off-target side effects are thought to be due to a patient’s immune response.
- In an article published today in The New England Journal of Medicine, the UC Davis Vice Chair of Research and Distinguished Professor of Dermatology and Internal Medicine William Murphy and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School Dan Longo present a possible explanation to the diverse immune responses to the virus and the vaccines.
- Antibodies mimicking the virus Drawing upon classic immunological concepts, Murphy and Longo suggest that the Network Hypothesis by Nobel Laureate Niels Jerne might offer insights.
- Jerne’s hypothesis details a means for the immune system to regulate antibodies.
- It describes a cascade in which the immune system initially launches protective antibody responses to an antigen (like a virus).
- These same protective antibodies later can trigger a new antibody response toward themselves, leading to their disappearance over time.
- These secondary antibodies, called anti-idiotype antibodies, can bind to and deplete the initial protective antibody responses.