Study finds antibody response to COVID-19 reduces over time

Henrietta Strickland
October 28, 2020

Scientists have found that coronavirus immunity could only last a few months after a study revealed a decline in protective antibodies.

The study was published Monday by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI, a market research firm.

This is compared with 6 per cent found to have antibodies between June 20th and July 13th, and 4.8 per cent between July 31st and August 31st.

The latest findings, part of the government-backed Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) studies, suggest a decline in the level of immunity in the population in the months following the first wave of the pandemic, leading to the second wave now underway across the UK.

The total number of deaths across the United Kingdom linked to the novel coronavirus has now hit 61,116, according to figures reported by the three main health agencies in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Coronavirus deaths in the United Kingdom still remain lower than at the peak of the first wave back in March/April when the country recorded more than 9,400 fatalities in a single week.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed over the months, the question of how long the antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus are present in the body has had varying answers.

The German researchers found the vast majority of people didn't have COVID-19 antibodies, even in hotspots for the disease, and that antibodies might fade in those who do.

"This large study shows that the proportion of people with immunodeficiency detected decreases over time", he said.

Push to pursue COVID-19 herd immunity called 'dangerous'11 days ago2:05
Push to pursue COVID-19 herd immunity called 'dangerous'11 days ago2:05

The remarkable milestone of no new cases comes just months after Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews declared a "state of disaster" to stem an outbreak that saw as many as 725 people in the state test positive for the virus in a single day.

"So the need for a vaccine is still very large if you want to try and get a large level of protection in the population".

Collaborating with physicians in the campus of the Santa Maria Hospital, the research team started to monitor the antibody levels of over 300 COVID-19 hospital patients and healthcare workers, and over 200 post-COVID-19 volunteers.

A group of worldwide experts push back against the Great Barrington Declaration and its pursuit of COVID-19 herd immunity, calling it "a unsafe fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence".

"I know we all hope this will end soon, but I do not think it will be possible", she said.

The rapid waning of antibodies did not necessarily have implications for the efficacy of vaccine candidates now in clinical trials, Imperial's Barclay said.

In the latest round of the study, between September 15th to 28th, the prevalence of antibodies remained highest in London, and in those of black and Asian ethnicity.

Yesterday, it was announced 102 people had died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test.

Tony Holohan warns of people not self-isolating wi.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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