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A new study revealed that most of the patients with mild COVID-19 infections develop antibodies that last for up to six months and protect them from reinfection. The Michigan Medicine study's findings were published in the journal Microbiology Spectrum. Between three and six months after the initial infection, researchers looked at roughly 130 people who had PCR-confirmed COVID-19 disease. At least three patients were admitted to the hospital while the rest treated as outpatients. They all had a minor infection with headaches, chills, and a loss of taste or smell. As per the findings, nearly 90% of participants developed spike and nucleocapsid antibody responses, with all but one having lasting antibody levels at follow-up. Participants in the prospective trial were either Michigan Medicine health care personnel or patients with a high risk of COVID-19 exposure.
The majority of the participants had also previously taken part in a study by the same research team, which demonstrated that COVID antibody tests are successful at predicting prior infection. In comparison to 15 antibody-negative patients, none of the participants who generated antibodies were re-infected throughout the surveillance period. The researchers also discovered that the antibodies' ability to neutralize COVID-19 did not alter significantly between the first and second visits, which were respectively three and six months after infection. Professor Charles Schuler, MD and lead author of the study, said earlier thought was that only persons with severe COVID-19 developed high antibody responses to infection. However, the findings suggest that those who had minor COVID-19 infections and recovered quickly, produced antibodies, and preserved them.
To further examine antibody responses, the team of researchers is now analyzing samples from this subject group taken up to a year after infection. Meanwhile, they also came to the conclusion that people infected with COVID-19 can wait for three months before getting vaccinated. Those who have been treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma should also wait for at least three months before getting vaccinated, while others should wait until they have recovered from COVID-19 and "met the requirements to terminate isolation," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "While some studies have revealed that antibodies against COVID-19 fade over time, the latest findings provide strong prospective evidence for longer-term immunity for those who produce an immune response to mild infection," said James Baker Jr, and a senior author of the study.