Saturday, April 17, 2021

How long do antibodies last in the human body?

From NPR

Antibodies To 1918 Flu Found In Elderly Survivors

In 1918, a devastating influenza virus swept the world, killing tens of millions of people. Researchers have just discovered a relic of that pandemic: antibodies in some of the now elderly survivors. 

The cells that make antibodies weren't thought to circulate in the blood for 90 years, at least not at a high enough concentration to be found. But Altschuler (a specialist in rehabilitative medicine) was persistent. He found 32 people who had been 3, 4 or 5 years old in 1918 and sent their blood samples to Crowe and the other immunologists and virologists.

"We actually had to find the cells floating around in the blood as if they were sentinels looking for a new infection," Crowe said.

And using some sophisticated new techniques, they found antibodies to the 1918 flu in every one of the 32 people they tested who were alive in 1918, and few if any antibodies in anyone born after 1925.       -Underlining mine.

First a very quick lesson on the immune system.

Antibodies are like keys. If a key gets stuffed into a lock (the pathogen) and broken off, the lock will not work.

There is a system of cells/organs in our bodies to manufacture these keys when a pathogen is found. One of them involves cells in the bloodstream "looking" for specific pathogens. That is what the researchers found. Those cells lock onto the pathogen and get filtered out by lymph nodes. The cell presents the pathogen to the key-making machine and turns it on. The key-making machine starts spitting out antibodies/keys.

So, while it may be true that relatively few Covid 19 antibodies are found three, six, twelve months after vaccination, a key point is that the Arsenal of Democracy is tooled up and ready to crank a brazillian copies out if some form of Covid presents itself.

Exceptions apply. Some people have feeble immune systems. Covid will randomly evolve and the keys will not be as good of a fit to future variants. Covid might be so effective at penetrating cell walls and hiding that the immune system gets a slow start.

Major point: Your immune system after having Covid or receiving vaccine is no longer a deer-in-the-headlights long past the three or six month timeline some folks bandy about as if it were a hard-stop.


  1. Covid 19 is a variant of the Coronavirus group....there are literally DOZENS of different types. And almost ALL humans
    have been exposed to at least some of these types and therefore
    have SOME level of antibody defense for them. The vast majority
    of people have enough of an immune response that when exposed to the Covid 19 variant their immune system responds so quickly and efficiently the NEVER KNOW they were exposed. Essentially the majority of humans were and are immune to this and ALWAYS HAVE BEEN. It's just a small portion of humans....mostly those with other issues such as obesity, being old or other diseases that can compromise immune response that are at risk. Yes....occasionally we hear about someone young and healthy up and dying from this disease. While tragic such cases are statistically irrelevant from an epidemiologic point of view.

    Been in healthcare for more than 40 years. Have spent 40 yours a week EVERY WEEK working in the local ER since BEFORE this Plannedemic began. The numbers of patients seen was dropping before the vaccines were released. The numbers NOW are plummeting. I haven't seen a positive case in ER for a couple weeks now....they do come in occasionally...but they are very few compared to the 3-4 or more I would see EVERY DAY last fall. This Plannedemic is OVER....regardless of what the criminals in power say. And the vaccine has had VERY little to do with that reality.

    1. Outstanding point.

      Daycare workers and Kindergarten teachers joke about having the immune systems of sewer rats.

      The fickle finger of fate for Covid has been EXTREMELY unpredictable which suggests there are variables we are not looking at.

      One that I am interested in: Are the patients who were monkey-hammered childless? Asking as the father of four children.

      It may be that they lived in a near-sterile bubble and it caught up with them.

      If this proved to be a major player then those of us who swam in sewers and had children can get on with our lives and the ones who had no children can continue to play "Mommy-may-I"

  2. As a regular reader, I like your stories. Here in this one you used NPR as a source. NPR is similar to Snopes in that they are a biased source. Trust is expensive to reclaim once it has been broken. NPR has a few trust issues in my books. I understand that everything is biased. -Jim

  3. Is there any evidence that the immune system "machine tools" cells that make the antibody "keys" all have the same longevity?

    I would guess just the opposite. Which is why some things a vaccination provides lifetime protection (e.g. polio) and some things require periodic boosting (e.g., tetanus). It's why they recommend boosters of MMR vaccine to avoid shingles in older adults, especially if you've had chickenpox.

    And things like colds (of which there many variations) can't really be vaccinated against at all. Corona viruses seem to be in this latter category.

    That some people still have Spanish flu antibodies is an interesting piece of scientific information. But I'm not convinced it really should provide anyone with any confidence about the COVID-19 vaccines or immunity.

  4. This piece is a nice take-down of the WU-FLU scam.

  5. 1957 my mother, while pregnant with me, caught that years bad flu. In 1979 the same flu came back. It was a bad one. It sickened everybody at work except me.


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