How does the human body fight a viral infection?

Some individuals generate an effective immune response to COVID-19. Why? Discover the immune response to viral infection in this explainer article.

Image by Tumisa on pixabay.com under Creative Commons license.

The immune response to viral infection

The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

It is the antibodies that bind to the external spike protein that are most important in limiting virus spread and conferring immunity.

The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.
The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

Long-lasting immunity to a virus infection depends both on antibodies and the memory cells that recognise that virus.

Tests for SARS-CoV-2 infection

The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

Detection of the virus

It is important to remember that in any individual there is a time-point when virus can be detected but antibodies have not yet been produced, and a later time period when the virus has been eliminated but the anti-viral antibodies remain.

Detection of antibodies

The home of free learning from The Open University.