UK study shows that covid-19 antibodies decrease over a three-month period

A new study conducted on people that were first infected, and then cured from covid-19, increases the prospect that immunity to the virus may be shorter than what is believed. 

Three months after infection, only 17% of those who have contracted the virus maintain the same immune response strength, which in some cases is not even detectable.

Scientists at King College in London, reports BBC, have studied how the body naturally fights the virus by producing antibodies and how long these antibodies remain active after healing.

"Almost all of the 96 people tested had detectable antibodies that could neutralize and stop the covid-19 infection. But the levels started to drop over the three month experiment period," reports the BBC.

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What is still unclear is "whether this decline makes patients vulnerable to the same virus again. Similar short-lived responses have been observed with other viruses, such as the common cold. So it is possible that covid-19 could be re-contracted". But even if cured people have no detectable antibodies left, this does not necessarily mean that they have no immunity. Antibodies are not the only element that offers protection.

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“Human bodies also produce T-cells to help fight medical threats,” say the scientists quoted by BBC.

Researchers have noticed that the level of antibodies reaches its peak about three weeks after the onset of symptoms, and then gradually decreases, thus weakening the power of the response.

Three months after the infection - reports the Guardian, citing the study - only 17% of those who have contracted the virus maintain the same power of immune response.

Ph: Willy Barton / Shutterstock.com

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