Once a Covid hotspot, Italian village now intrigues researchers with ‘super-immune’ cases

By | May 4, 2021

NBC News reports:

Paola Bezzon thought her sniffles in December were just a seasonal cold until a serology test months later found coronavirus antibodies in her blood.

And not just normal levels of antibodies. Researchers say she is “super-immune” — a person whose body seems to make more antibodies than normal.

“I don’t know why I have all these antibodies, but they are such a lifeline for me,” she said. “They make me feel safe even though I haven’t had the vaccine yet.”

Bezzon, 68, lives in Vo’, a town of about 3,300 people west of Venice, which became one of the first cities outside China to experience a Covid-19 outbreak — and the site of the first Covid-19 death in Europe. Researchers, hoping to understand the virus and the human immune response to it, arrived shortly after.

What they’ve found sparked interest in why some people seem to be able to ward off the virus long after initial exposure. According to a coming study by researchers from the University of Padua in collaboration with Imperial College London, of the 129 people who still had antibodies nine months on from the initial outbreak, 16 showed more than double the levels they had in May. Among the possible causes of the rise in antibodies is re-exposure to the virus. The study is undergoing peer review. [Continue reading…]

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