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Last Updated : Jul 13, 2020 09:14 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Recovered COVID-19 patients could lose immunity in months: UK study

Antibody levels fell as much as 23-fold over the period. In some cases, they became undetectable, the research revealed.

Recovered COVID-19 patients may lose their immunity to the disease within months, suggested new research, indicating that the novel coronavirus could reinfect people who have had it in the past, much like the common cold.

A team from King’s College in London found that the amount of antibodies in recovered COVID-19 patients’ blood was significantly down after three months, meaning they could be vulnerable to reinfection, reported The Guardian.

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The study examined 90 patients and healthcare workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust and found that 60 percent of people retained the “potent” level of antibodies required to resist future COVID-19 infections in the two weeks around the first sign of symptoms. However, less than 17 percent retained the same potency three months later, according to the researchers.

Antibody levels fell as much as 23-fold over the period. In some cases, they became undetectable, the research revealed.

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Dr Katie Doores, lead author of the study at King’s College London told The Guardian. “People are producing a reasonable antibody response to the virus, but it’s waning over a short period of time and depending on how high your peak is, that determines how long the antibodies are staying around,” said Dr Doores.

As per the report, experts said that the findings put “another nail in the coffin in the dangerous concept of herd immunity”, which was used to anticipate that the public could build resistance through widespread exposure to COVID-19. The study confirmed a growing body of evidence that immunity to COVID-19 is short-lived, said the report quoting Professor Jonathan Heeney, a virologist at the University of Cambridge.

The immune system of the human body has multiple ways to fight the coronavirus but if antibodies are the main line of defence, the UK study suggested that people could become reinfected and that vaccines may not protect them for long, said the report.

Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.
First Published on Jul 13, 2020 04:33 pm
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