Find new antibodies


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A team of researchers at the FAU and the University of Erlangen has obtained new insights into the maturation of SARS-CoV-specific antibodies following multiple vaccinations with the Comirnaty mRNA vaccine. Now they have published their work in the journal Immunology.

Antibody responses are essential for protection against viral infectious diseases, as only neutralizing antibodies can effectively block the initial entry of pathogens. These antibodies block binding sites in the viral surface proteins required for binding to cellular receptors and thus for cellular uptake. In addition, antibodies can limit the spread of viruses in the body through additional functions. These functions are highly dependent on the relevant subclass of the antibody molecule.

During the study, the research team was led by Prof. Dr. Matthias Tenbusch, Institute of Clinical and Molecular Virology at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen; Professor Dr. Thomas Winkler, FAU Professor of Genetics; and PD Dr. Kilian Schober, Institute of Clinical and Molecular Virology at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, were able to demonstrate that the number of antibodies of the IgG4 subclass was increased after booster vaccination of Comirnaty mRNA.

To date, only a small amount of research in the context of viral infectious diseases has been performed on these antibodies, which tend to be considered non-inflammatory, as they are quite rare. Thus, this exciting discovery in the field of immunology raises new questions about antibody maturation.

The ability of IgG4 antibodies to successfully neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variant remains unchanged—a capacity that does not distinguish this antibody from the most commonly formed IgG1 subclass . Vaccination continues to be effective and it offers very good protection from serious cases as demonstrated in clinical trials. In addition, there was no evidence of adverse effects on the clinical course of SARS-CoV-2 infection after several mRNA vaccination sessions.

However, in the context of the potential of mRNA vaccines for use in infectious diseases as well as tumors and autoimmune diseases, it is more important that the activated immune responses be fully understood. enough. Further studies are needed to find out which immune mechanism is responsible for the abnormal production of IgG4 antibodies. In these studies, it will be interesting to investigate whether this antibody is formed with other mRNA vaccines and whether they may have implications for the progression of viral infection- withdraw or not.

More information:
Pascal Irrgang et al., Switching to spike-specific IgG4 antibodies after repeated vaccination with SARS-CoV-2 mRNA, Immunology (2022). DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.ade2798

quote: COVID: Looking for new antibodies (2023, Jan 9) get Jan 9, 2023 from

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