Antibodies decrease significantly in the three months following infection, research by King’s College London found, leaving patients susceptible to reinfection year after year – similar to the common cold.
The findings, which have yet to be peer-reviewed, were based on the immune response of 90 patients and healthcare workers at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust in London.
The analysis showed that a ‘potent’ level of antibodies could be found in 60 per cent of participants at the peak of their battle with coronavirus, but subsequent blood tests revealed that only 17 per cent sustained that same level of potency three months later. Antibodies decreased 23-fold in some cases, and were depleted entirely in others.
The report states that its findings have ‘important implications when considering widespread (antibody) testing, (antibody) protection against re-infection with (Covid-19) and the durability of vaccine protection’.