Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Covidiots Are Missing More Than Just Brain Cells

Electron micrograph of a single SARS-CoV-2 particle with its spike proteins (blue) clearly visible. The inset is a 3D model of the spike protein — the portion of the COVID-19 virus that currently available mRNA vaccines recognize. A recent Johns Hopkins Medicine study suggests that T lymphocytes — immune system cells that target the spike protein and direct antibodies against the COVID-19 virus — persist six months after vaccination and help protect against the delta variant of the virus.

Graphic: M.E. Newman, Johns Hopkins Medicine, using public domain images.
Micrograph: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
SARS-CoV-2 spike protein 3D model: National Institutes of Health
Study Shows Immune Cells Against Covid-19 Stay High in Number Six Months After Vaccination

A Recent study by scientists at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, published recently by Oxford University Press in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, shows just what the covidiots who are refusing to get vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus are missing in addition to the ability to make rational decisions and think for themselves. The study shows how people vaccinated with either of the mRNA vaccines still have high levels of t-lymphocytes circulating in their blood 6 months after immunisation and that these levels have only declined slightly from the initial levels.

In other words, people who have been vaccinated with the mRNA vaccines have specialised, pre-programmed cells active and ready to fight the virus by destroying infected cells and preventing them producing more virus particles in addition to the antibodies that identify and attack virus particles that get into the body.

Previous research has suggested that humoral immune response — where the immune system circulates virus-neutralizing antibodies — can drop off at six months after vaccination, whereas our study indicates that cellular immunity — where the immune system directly attacks infected cells — remains strong. The persistence of these vaccine-elicited T cells, along with the fact that they’re active against the delta variant, has important implications for guiding COVID vaccine development and determining the need for COVID boosters in the future.

The robust expansion of T cells in response to stimulation with spike proteins is certainly indicated, supporting the need for more study to show booster shots do successfully increase the frequency of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells circulating in the blood. The added bonus is finding that this response also is likely strong for the delta variant.

Professor Joel Blankson, M.D., Ph.D., Lead author
Professor of medicine
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
So, they have two lines of defence - the first that attacks the virus itself with antibodies which bind to the spike proteins on the surface of the virus, and prevent it attaching itself to the cells, and the second that attacks any cells that the virus manages to get past this first line of defence and enter.

It is only when the virus particles manage to get inside a cell that they start to harm the body by producing hundreds more viruses and destroying the cell in the process. Hit these cells early and you prevent the replication of the virus and the destruction of hundreds more cells. This also means the infected person has fewer virus particles to shed and infect others with, so reducing the infectivity of the virus.

The same study showed that a vaccinated person can respond quickly to the viral spike proteins by mobilising these T cells, and so mount a robust defence against the virus, unlike those who have not been vaccinated. This is equally true for the spike proteins of the much more infectious δ variant which is currently causing a surge in cases in the USA, the UK and other parts of the world.

The team reached this conclusion after examining blood from 15 study participants (10 men and five women) at three times: prior to vaccination, between seven and 14 days after their second Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine dose, and six months after vaccination. The median age of the participants was 41 and none had evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.

As the Johns Hopkins news release explains:

Copyright © 2021 Oxford University Press. Reprinted in compliance with OU Press' Standard publication reuse rights
CD4+ T lymphocytes get their nickname of helper T cells because they assist another type of immune system cell, the B lymphocyte (B cell), to respond to surface proteins — antigens — on viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Activated by the CD4+ T cells, immature B cells become either plasma cells that produce antibodies to mark infected cells for disposal from the body or memory cells that “remember” the antigen’s biochemical structure for a faster response to future infections. Therefore, a CD4+ T cell response can serve as a measure of how well the immune system responds to a vaccine and yields humoral immunity.

In their study, Blankson and colleagues found that the number of helper T cells recognizing SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins was extremely low prior to vaccination — with a median of 2.7 spot-forming units (SFUs, the level of which is a measure of T cell frequency) per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs, identified as any blood cell with a round nucleus, including lymphocytes). Between 7 and 14 days after vaccination, the T cell frequency rose to a median of 237 SFUs per million PBMCs. At six months after vaccination, the level dropped slightly to a median of 122 SFUs per million PBMCs — a T cell frequency still significantly higher than before vaccination. The researchers also looked six months after vaccination at the ability of CD4+ T cells to recognize spike proteins atop the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant. They discovered the number of T cells recognizing the delta variant spike protein was not significantly different from that of T cells attuned to the original virus strain’s protein.
The team's paper is freely available in pdf format, ahead of formal publication in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

It is abundantly clear now that the reckless antivaxxer campaigns being orchestrated by supporters of Donald Trump and his allies in the Talibangelical Christian fundamentalist churches are putting people needlessly at risk by depriving them of the protection given by these vaccines. This can be seen in the latest figures from the USA where those dying of COVID-19, filling up hospital ICU wards or suffering the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection, are overwhelmingly unvaccinated victims of antivaxxer political extremists, in what may go down in history of the first self-inflicted genocide of the gullible Christian right.

These fundamentalist Christian hypocrites, who loudly declare themselves to be pro-life, are knowingly putting the lives of their covidiot followers at serious risk in a well-rehearsed exploitation of their gullible credulity, in order to posture as defenders of individual liberty - liberty which stops at a woman's right to choose - and garner support for extremist political candidates at local, state and national level.

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