Antibody immunity to coronavirus wanes over time: Imperial College study
LONDON (UK) -An Imperial College London study showed on Tuesday that antibodies against the novel coronavirus demonstrated a massive decline among Britons during summer, hinting that protection after the infection might not last long and it also raises the prospects of declining immunity in the community.
Imperial College scientists have kept track of antibody levels in the population after the first wave of the infections in March and April.
Antibody prevalence dropped from 6% of the population around the end of June to 4.4% in September, raising the chances of decreasing population immunity ahead of a second wave of infections.
Immunity to the coronavirus may be assisted by T cells, as well as B cells that can trigger the quick production of antibodies following re-exposure to the virus. According to researchers, the experience of other coronaviruses hints that immunity might not last long.
“We can see the antibodies and we can see them declining and we know that antibodies on their own are quite protective,” Wendy Barclay, Head of Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London told reporters.
“On the balance of evidence I would say, with what we know for other coronaviruses, it would look as if immunity declines away at the same rate as antibodies decline away, and that this is an indication of waning immunity at the population level.”
In persons whose infection was confirmed with a gold standard PCR test showed a less pronounced decline in antibodies when compared to people who were asymptomatic.
In healthcare workers, there was no change in the levels of antibodies because of repeated exposure to coronavirus.