(Reuters) – Some COVID-19 survivors infected early in the pandemic still have detectable antibodies against the virus a year later, according to a new study.
U.S. doctors collected blood samples from 250 patients, including 58 who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 and 192 who had not required hospitalization. Six-to-10 months after diagnosis, all of the former inpatients and 95% of the outpatients still had neutralizing antibodies, according to a report posted on medRxiv ahead of peer review.
In the small subset of those followed for a full year, 8-of-8 people who had been hospitalized still had antibodies, as did 9-of-11 former outpatients.
Antibody levels at the time of follow-up were correlated with age and with COVID-19 severity. Older age was linked with higher neutralizing antibody levels, whereas levels were “lower and more variable” in participants under age 65 who experienced less severe COVID-19 and did not require hospitalization, the researchers reported.
They said vaccination of COVID-19 survivors “would be prudent” because vaccine-induced protection against the virus will likely be more long-lived than antibodies induced by mild COVID-19.
SOURCE: https://bit.ly/3eelS82 medRxiv, online May 2, 2021.
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