21st Nov 2020 10:11:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

At a time when all focus has been diverted towards Covid-19 vaccine(s) particularly since they are in final stages, an interesting news has garnered quite an attention. A new study conducted in Pune has documented that close to 85 % of the people who have been detected to be infected with the lethal virus from an earlier sero-survey have developed protective antibodies, also referred to as neutralising antibodies. This actually means they have acquired ‘herd immunity’, a term which has been a major topic of discussion since the virus’s onslaught. It’s a significant finding which endorses the fact that this much-wished-for factor needs to have a relook and studies of this kind do have relevance. Arrival of the vaccine in all probability will take at least four months or even more from now and if in the meantime herd immunity becomes a reality, it can be asserted that the task of cornering the virus will be more easier for the country. But for that, studies of this sort across all states, especially in most-affected areas should be launched at once.
The study conducted by multiple institutes led by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) which gave this finding was actually a follow-up step to the sero-survey and was conducted on nearly 1,600 individuals in various wards of Pune. While sero-surveys pursue the objective of ascertaining the extent of spread of coronavirus or its prevalence in a chosen population group through random testing, detection of disease-specific antibodies is not possible through it. The Pune study has actually done this through additional tests to confirm the presence of neutralising antibodies and it needs to be noted that this is the only of its kind initiative in India so far. The overarching importance of neutralising or protective antibodies in the science of Immunology needs no reiteration since it’s only through these, comprehensive immunity against a particular disease can be triggered. The term ‘antibodies’ as commonly understood, thus has only a supplementary role in the road to recovery for a patient and its presence is not a guarantee for immunity against future attacks from the same virus. This is how the fundamental difference between ‘antibodies’ and ‘neutralising antibodies’ can be understood. It’s a fact that but for this study, a vital input in the fight against Covid would have been missed out and sooner it is replicated across the country, the better it will be for the overall fight against the pandemic.
It will be logical if the State Health Department takes cue from this revelation and conducts similar post-sero-survey studies in the state particularly in the ICR where sero-surveys have been previously conducted.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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