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  • Citizen wears a high-security health suit while shopping in Mexico City, Mexico, July 12, 2020.

    Citizen wears a high-security health suit while shopping in Mexico City, Mexico, July 12, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 13 July 2020
Opinion

Research shows that patient's antibody levels drop significantly three months after infection.

The London King’s College Monday published a study revealing that people who have recovered from COVID-19 may lose their immunity within a few months.

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After testing more than 90 patients and health care workers' immune response, scientists found that antibodies capable of destroying the virus peaked about three weeks after the onset of symptoms, and then rapidly declined.

“People are producing a reasonable antibody response to the virus, although this decreases over a short period, so how high your peak depends on how long the antibodies remain,” the research's author, Katie Doores, told The Guardian.”

Blood tests revealed that while 60 percent of people had a "potent" antibody response at the peak of their fight against the virus, only 17 percent maintained the same potency three months later. Antibody levels fell up to 23 times during the period and, in some cases, became undetectable.

“Antibody levels increased more and lasted longer in severe cases, probably because they have more presence of the virus and produce more antibodies to fight the infection.”

The study results could have direct implications for vaccine development as it suggests people may become re-infected year after year, and vaccines may not provide definitive protection.

"If antibody levels decrease in two or three months due to infection, the vaccine effect will potentially do the same."

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Katie Doores
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