According to a new study conducted by King’s College London, immunity to COVID-19 in recovered patients may only last a few months. Tara Pilkington reports.
In what is considered the first longitudinal study of its kind, researchers from King’s College London have found that immunity antibodies to coronavirus decrease significantly in the three months following infection, leaving patients susceptible to reinfection year after year, similar to the common cold.
Researchers have looked into the immune responses of 90 patients and healthcare workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, and have stated that while the analysis revealed a “potent” level of antibodies found in 60% of participants while at the peak of their battle with coronavirus, subsequent blood tests showed that only 17% sustained that same level of potency three months later.
The report states that its findings have important implications when considering widespread testing, protection against reinfection with coronavirus and even the durability of vaccine protection.
Mala Maini, professor of viral immunology and consultant physician at University College London, has said: “This study does reinforce the message that we can’t assume someone who has had Covid-19 can’t get it again just because they initially became antibody-positive.”