Superanticuerpos contra la covid-19: el estadounidense que es naturalmente inmune a la enfermedad

El escritor estadounidense John Hollis, de 54 años, pensó que iba a contraer la covid-19 cuando un amigo con el que compartía casa se infectó y enfermó gravemente en abril de 2020. Pero en julio de 2020, de manera absolutamente casual, descubrió que tiene unos superanticuerpos frente al coronavirus que lo hacen permanentemente inmune a la enfermedad. El coronavirus puede entrar en su cuerpo pero no logra infectar a sus células y hacerle enfermar. En este video te contamos su historia.

Transcripción del video

JOHN HOLLIS: My name is John Hollis. And I have super antibodies in my blood that have made me immune to COVID-19.

LANCE LIOTTA: You could dilute the antibody 1 to 10,000 times, and it would still kill 90% of the virus.

- [SPEAKING SPANISH]

JOHN HOLLIS: I know I'm not the only person who's got antibodies like these. I'm just one of the few people who've been found.

- [SPEAKING SPANISH]

JOHN HOLLIS: This has been the most surreal experience of my life. And I couldn't make this up if I tried. The first week of April, my housemate became sick-- very sick with what I knew was COVID-19. So those first two weeks of April were pretty scary. And so for two weeks, I basically just waited for the ax to drop, and it never did. And so I kind of just figured-- assumed at that point I'd gotten lucky, and dodged the bullet, and did not somehow get the virus.

- [SPEAKING SPANISH]

JOHN HOLLIS: It wasn't till later in July that I found out that not only had it contracted the virus in late March, but that I had the super antibodies in my blood that made me permanently immune.

- [SPEAKING SPANISH]

LANCE LIOTTA: We collected his blood at different points in time. And now it's a goldmine to study different ways of attacking the virus. And the way those antibodies work in the case of the COVID is that COVID has these spikes on the surface. And those spikes are used to attach to the cell and then invade the cell. The patient's antibodies stick to those spiked tips. And when the antibody's on it can't bind to the surface of the cell and infect it.

- [SPEAKING SPANISH]

LANCE LIOTTA: Some of our patients had really high levels of antibodies against COVID. You could dilute their antibodies 1 to 10,000, 1 to 20,000-- that's a big dilution-- and they would still kill 90% of the virus.

- [SPEAKING SPANISH]

JOHN HOLLIS: But I know I'm not the only person who's got antibodies like these. I'm just one of the few people who've been found.

- [SPEAKING SPANISH]

JEFFREY KAHN: There's been a long history of, I would say, exploitation-- I think is the sort of single best word-- that has sown a lot of mistrust in the African-American community, and I would say an understandable mistrust.

- [SPEAKING SPANISH]

JEFFREY KAHN: Maybe most notably over the course of the years that the study was undertaken, antibiotics were discovered and became widely available. So they were lied to in terms of their recruitment. They were lied to in terms of what was being done to them during the course of the study.

And then they were denied care in the name of the research over as many years as the study continued. Out of the disclosure of the study at Tuskegee came the regulations and oversight that we now have for all of human subject research that have been in place since the 1970s and continue to this day.

- [SPEAKING SPANISH]

JEFFREY KAHN: And we want to make sure that the communities that are hardest hit are at the table to receive the benefits of the things that are developed. And to do that means that those communities have to be part of the research population as well.

JOHN HOLLIS: I just think we owe it to those people-- those victims of the Tuskegee study and others to honor them by being involved with the process to make sure it doesn't happen again and also to save lives, particularly among the African-American community that's being most adversely affected by this virus. We owe it to ourselves. We owe to the people we know and love to protect each other.

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