Immunity to COVID-19 in recovered patients may only last a few months, a new study conducted by King’s College London has suggested.
According to the research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, immunity antibodies decrease significantly in the three months following infection, leaving patients susceptible to reinfection year after year, similar to the common cold.
In what is believed to be the first longitudinal study of its kind, researchers looked into the immune response of 90 patients and health-care workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust.
While the analysis revealed a “potent” level of antibodies could be found in 60% of participants while at the peak of their battle with coronavirus, sequential blood tests showed only 17% sustained that same level of potency three months later.
Antibodies decreased 23-fold in some cases and were depleted entirely in others.
The report states that its findings have “important implications when considering widespread (antibody) testing, (antibody) protection against re-infection with (COVID-19) and the durability of vaccine protection.”
It added: “Further studies using sequential samples from these individuals are required to fully determine the longevity of the (antibody) response and studies determining the (antibodies’) threshold for protection from re-infection are needed.”
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