Ghent, 15 September 2021. Researchers from UZ Gent and VIB (Flemish Institute of Biotechnology) have examined the production of antibodies against COVID-19 in the nose. 78.3% of study participants developed antibodies at that site after vaccination. Antibodies in the nose can greatly prevent infection and spread.

Antibodies to protect against COVID-19

“The coronavirus enters our body through the upper respiratory tract,” explains Dr. Philippe Gevaert, specialist in nose, throat and ear. “The neutral antibodies in our blood neutralize the virus by preventing the binding of spice proteins to human cells. Therefore, it is important to study the response to infection and vaccination in the nose.”

Most antibodies in the nose after Pfizer vaccination

Blood and nose were tested twice in 46 participating students: immediately before the first vaccination with Pfizer or AstraZenec and 13 to 40 days after the second vaccination. 23 participants had an infection prior to vaccination. Shortly before the first vaccination, only 17.4% of them.After full vaccination, 78.3% of the participants developed nasal antibodies.

Participants who received Pfizer showed more antibodies (96%) than participants who received AstraZeneca (59%). Local antibodies in Pfizer had a previous COVID-19 infection and had no effect on the results. Blood tests showed the same number of antibodies in both vaccine groups.

Continue the study

It is still unclear why some vaccines produce more antibodies in the nose than others. ‘Perhaps this explanation is due to the different time interval between the two doses and the different effects of the vaccines,’ said Professor Linos Vandekerckhove, a suspected infectious disease specialist. “During the follow-up study, we will do another evolution of the antibody response in the blood and nose. We hope to get more clarity that way.”