A team of scientists led by Marc Veldhoen from Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM) in Portugal, has found that antibodies against the novel coronavirus follow a classic pattern. The antibodies rapidly increased within the first three weeks and were detectable up to seven months post disease.
The team has monitored the antibody levels of over 300 COVID-19 hospital patients and healthcare workers, 2500 university staff, and 198 post-COVID volunteers, for this study.
A paper outlining this study appeared recently in the European Journal of Immunology.
For this study, the team had an in-house sensitive specific and versatile COVID-19 serology test.
It was observed that 90 per cent of people have detectable antibodies up to seven months post contracting Sars-CoV-2.
Another key finding of the study was that disease severity is the confounding factor in levels of antibodies produced and not the age .
“Our immune system recognises the virus SARS-CoV-2 as harmful and produces antibodies in response to it, which helps to fight the virus,” Voldhoen said.
“The results of this six months cross-sectional study show a classic pattern with a rapid increase of antibody levels within the first three weeks after COVID-19 symptoms and, as expected, a reduction to intermediate levels thereafter,” he added.
The study also found that men produce more antibodies on average than women, but their levels equilibrate during the resolution phase and are similar between for both the genders in the months after SARS-CoV-2 infection”.
The team believes that the next months will be very important to evaluate the robustness of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and to find clues for questions such as the duration of circulating antibodies and the effect of reinfection.
Seroprevalence of anti‐SARS‐CoV‐2 antibodies in COVID‐19 patients and healthy volunteers up to six months post disease onset European Journal of Immunology (2020) DOI: 10.1002/eji.202048970
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