An Imperial College Study Finds Coronavirus-Generated Antibodies Fall Rapidly – Health


A study by Imperial College London that analyzed the prevalence of antibodies in 365,104 adults in England between the last months of June and September found that the level of protection against coronavirus among those who had covid-19 decreased “very rapidly”, since the immunity provided by the antibodies could last only “a few months”.

In general, it was found that the level of immunity fell by 26.5 percent during that period. However, the authors clarified that these findings are available in a preliminary report that will be submitted for peer review and publication in a scientific journal.

This work estimated that only 4.4% of the more than 360,000 analyzed had some degree of immunity to covid-19 in September. That figure was 6% between 20 June and 13 July and 4.8% between 31 July and 31 August, suggesting that immunity was “waning fairly rapidly” and the risk of reinfection was increasing.

The study also showed that “people who had no symptoms of COVID-19 are likely to lose their detectable antibodies faster than those who showed symptoms.”

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The proportion of antibodies in people who tested positive for the virus decreased by 22.3% over the three months, while among the people who did not experience the symptoms of covid-19 they decreased by 64%.

The study points out that although all ages are affected by this decrease, the elderly suffer more: between June and September, the share of people over the age of 75 with antibodies decreased by 39%, while it was reduced by 14.9% in the age group between 18 and 24 years.

“The main conclusion is that after the first wave (of coronavirus), there was still no evidence that the vast majority of the country’s population had protective immunity,” one of the study’s authors, Graham Cooke, explained in a statement.
This means that although “we are seeing a decrease in the proportion of people who test positive”, there is a “vast majority” of individuals who “probably have not yet been exposed” to covid-19, the expert said. .

“Consequently, the need for a vaccine is even greater if we are to create a high level of protection in the population,” Cooke added.

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Similarly, research from Imperial College found that there were no significant changes in the immunity level of health care workers between June and September, which could be due to there is a “continuous transmission” or a “repeated exposure”observed Helen Ward, another of the authors of the work.

Regarding the so-called “herd immunity”, the expert warned that “we are still very, very far” from reaching a situation in which “the population will be protected by other people”. “Even in the best case – in the first round of tests in this study – 94 percent of the population had no protection and now 95 percent have no evidence that they have antibodies,” Ward said.

“Our study shows that, over time, there is a reduction in the number of people who test positive for antibodies. It is not clear what degree of immunity the antibodies provide or how long this immunity lastsCooke continued.

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Therefore, he recommended that those with antibodies continue to abide by the “recommendations”, which include “social distancing” measures and “the use of masks where necessary”.

In any case, virologist Wendy Barclay, of Imperial College London, explained that “this novel coronavirus appears to behave very similarly to the seasonal coronaviruses that have existed in humans for decades, some for hundreds of thousands of years.” You can “get reinfected every one or two years” with these seasonal coronaviruses due to a drop in immunity, he explained.

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