How Long Do Antibodies Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 8 months

The human body is a wonderful biological machine. Though people think only medicine can cure any irregularities or illness in the body, the body always creates fluids, hormones, cells, and proteins that will protect itself against many of the minor issues. The body comprises many things and even the presence of some bacteria and viruses can be really beneficial.

Immunity is one of the most important characteristics that anybody should have even to survive the least minimal infection or any sort of invasion into the body that might compromise the health of the body. After a lot of research, it has been concluded that antibody is one of the compounds that help the body to fight foreign substances that invade one’s body.

Though it is not that clear and specific, it has been concluded that it takes about 10 to 20 days for the antibodies to take effect. After that, they last for over 8 months in the body, helping the body with immunity.

How Long Do Antibodies Last?

StagesTime
Antibodies taking effect2 to 3 weeks
Antibodies lasting in the body8 months

Antibodies are otherwise called immunoglobulins, and they are a form of protein that is produced by the body. Antibodies are produced by the immune system and it is formed as the way of the body responding to any foreign substances, which are also known as antigens. Antibodies are produced by the body when they find antigens, the antibodies latch themselves onto the antigens.

Antigens can be anything, and that includes any sort of viruses, toxic materials, and disease-causing bacteria and organisms. There is a certain working mechanism of the antibody and antigens in one’s body. When any sort of foreign substance enters one’s body, the body recognizes it as antigens and it starts producing antibodies to eliminate the foreign substances. Antibodies are produced by white blood cells, the lymphocytes.

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The antigens start binding into the B-cell surface and it causes the cells to divide and multiply. The clones start maturing and they are called plasma cells. They secrete antibodies in large numbers and that gets into the lymphatic system and the bloodstream.

After the antibodies latch themselves to the antigens, they start destroying or neutralizing the antigens. They start immobilizing the foreign organisms in the body, and it is all based on the fight between the antigens and the antibodies.

Why Do Antibodies Last That Long?

Sometimes the antibodies are produced by the body itself when they find themselves being invaded by antigens. Yet, sometimes the body doesn’t produce enough antibodies strong enough to fight off the organisms. At times like that, doctors administrate vaccines into one’s body by injecting them with the necessary antibodies which can be viruses or bacteria. The virus or bacteria are normally weakened as they might cause more damage if they are strong.

Vaccines prepare and help the body fight against diseases and destroy infectious antigens. Vaccines are normally not administrated after the disease or antigens affect the body and the disease sets in. Instead, vaccines are preventive measures that give immunity to any living organism’s body without experiencing the symptoms of the disease or the disease itself.

Even though the vaccine is weak, it still helps the body stimulate its immunity as a response to the presence of antigen. Since the vaccination itself contains weak antigens, the lymphocytes detect these antigens and start producing antibodies, which are cloned forms of B lymphocytes. The clones cells are of two types, plasma cells, and memory B cells.

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Conclusion

The plasma cells are the ones that actually produce the antibodies and they are normally Y or T shaped. They attach themselves to foreign organisms and they kill or inactivate them. Hence, after the generation of antibodies from the B-lymphocytes, the antibodies start multiplying into millions. They take several days to grow well and they reach their maximum peak concentration in the bloodstream in about 10 to 20 days, i.e 2 to 3 weeks.

Even after they reach the peak concentration, the body keeps producing antibodies and the memory B cells produced sometimes may gradually disappear after neutralizing the antigen organisms. Sometimes, they can even lie dormant in the body for years, yet about 90% of the antibodies stay in the body for at least 6 to 8 months.

References

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/349293a0
  2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199805073381906
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