Our world was progressing at full speed ahead until our ship hit an iceberg. As the current scenarios, COVID-19 cases are aggravating at a faster pace, and now all eyes are pointing to the “yet to be discovered” vaccine. The lifeboat for the rescue that will provide us with the immunity to resist the novel coronavirus!! However, the feasibility of this lifeboat is uncertain until now, because obtaining resistance through a vaccine doesn’t seem to be a permanent solution for the big picture.
Then how will we bridle this?
Adaptation! It was the adaptations that enabled the entire living organisms to strive; even throughout the harsh conditions and threats that our nature unveiled. Living organisms have the capability to adapt to the situations that they meet upon their timeline. This leads us to the question – Can humans develop an adaptive immunity over the novel coronavirus? Can the current technologically advanced human race acquire resistance against this deadly disease? Are we capable of getting the edge off in this situation? In order to answer this uncertainty, we need to turn some pages back to the evolution of life.
As we are going through an onerous trek with the pandemic that made our entire world to stand still. The discussions and research are going on about the hot topic COVID-19 as the cases are reinstating day-by-day. All nations’ governments are imposing stringent regulations on social gatherings and thereby promoting social distancing. Now everyone knows that to keep themselves safe from the virus attack is to remain at their burrows. At the very beginning, most people were least bothered about the prevailing conditions which, in turn, worsened the case. But now those people are well aware of the consequences, which were created due to the lack of attention and efforts.
Can vaccines save us?
Various pharmaceutical companies are hustling to make vaccines for the prevention of coronavirus attacks. Almost all the research organizations are turning in their entire resources for the groundbreaking discovery for these vaccines. Although vaccines can be a temporary relaxation, we need our researchers to keenly set up a permanent fix for such outbreaks; rather than replant the human race to neighbouring planets. Fingers crossed! Vaccines usually attribute a weakened version or dead forms of the bacteria or virus in this case. When the vaccines enter our body, it provides a false alert that the body is under attack by a foreign particle. This triggers the synthesize of antibodies/weapons against the intruder by the innate immune system; a blueprint of the weapon will be stored in the memory cells as well.
Once the real threat arrives, our body defence system releases the weapons efficiently and faster than that of the innate immunity to neutralize the situation by the adaptive immune system. The major traits of the innate immunity are to identify the cells of the host, swift action of exclusion, creating immunological memory files with the help of cytokines. Out of such vaccines, immunity for some is likely to be transferred from mother to child during birth. The so-obtained antibodies provide the newborn with built-in resistance. Likewise, the acquired immunity could be passed onto upcoming generations in this manner which itself can be a Kickstarter for evolution.
Acquired Immunity? Really?
Studies have shown that some humans are having acquired immunity for certain types of malarial parasites. This shows the acquisition of one’s adapted/ acquired immunity as well as the innate immune response to the parasite. It shows the potential of humans to evolve and adapt to the conditions. The evidence of the ability for the acquired immune system was found in jawed fishes approximately 500 million years ago. Due to the catalytic environment, the adaptation started at the gene level that underwent gene rearrangement and gave rise to an evolved species. Complex cellular processes like Somatic Hypermutation, Affinity Maturation along with Polyclonal B cell response can engender the evolution in earthly species.
According to WHO
In short, answers are still lacking and could be solved through imminent studies about the unknowns and anomalies. As WHO stated, it may never be wiped out entirely; so easing the restrictions will trigger subsequent waves. Social distancing, wearing a face mask, and timely usage of sanitizers remain as the primary defence against the virus attacks.
“We have a new virus entering the human population for the first time and therefore it is very hard to predict when we will prevail over it. This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this may never go away”Micheal J Ryan, Executive Director, WHO
Klaus Stohr, a virologist who led the WHO response against SARS, as he foresees a distant future in which SARS-CoV-2, like coronaviruses of the common cold, will return to infect us every year, but our partial immunity will try to protect us from its harmful effects without the need for vaccines.
For the uncertain questions asked, God, forbid, this arises as an extinction-level event in the history of mankind. Although the human race will adapt, evolve, and acquire immunity over this deadly pandemic too…. not very soon but will overcome it undeniably!
Let’s prepare and brace ourselves for the new ‘Normal‘. Fingers crossed!!
Stay Tuned !! Stay Updated !!
Guest Author – Jibin Jose
An unparalleled guy, who goes from quarks to quasars! starts thinking ‘Do ants sleep at night?’ and end up in ‘Could Einstein be wrong?’. I don’t do great things. I do small things in a great way.