- November 21, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Context: A new study in Pune has revealed that nearly 85% of the people who had been found infected with novel coronavirus in a sero survey, conducted earlier, had developed neutralising antibodies. If a person has developed neutralising antibodies, this means he has developed immunity against the disease.
- There is a misconception that everyone who has recovered from an infection by a disease- becomes immune to the disease, because they build antibodies against it. But that is not the case.
- While the creation of antibodies is necessary for the recovery process, it does not guarantee immunity against a future attack from the same virus. Immunity comes from what are known as “neutralising” or “protective” antibodies.
What are Neutralising antibodies?
They are a small subset of the disease-specific antibodies that are generated once an infection has occurred. The neutralising antibodies become special because they have the ability to thwart the entry of the same virus inside human bodies in the future. The other antibodies help in fighting off the virus once the infection has already happened.
How is Pune sero survey different from other sero survey done in India?
- All previous sero surveys Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and other cities, only look for the presence of antibodies in people. Their purpose is to find out whether a person has been infected with the virus or not, and through random testing of people, estimate the extent of spread of the disease, or prevalence, in a population group. Detection of disease-specific antibodies confirms that the person had been infected with the virus in the past.
- Therefore, a further test needs to be carried out to detect the presence of neutralising antibodies. This is what has happened in the case of Pune. So far, this is the only study that has looked for neutralising antibodies.