SARS-CoV-2 antibodies may protect against reinfection for at least 6 months



According to a recent prospective longitudinal cohort study in healthcare workers, those with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from a previous infection had a reduced risk of reinfection in the following 6 months.


The study followed 12,541 healthcare workers from Oxford University Hospitals in the United Kingdom to compare the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in seropositive and seronegative patients. Their baseline antibody statuses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid were determined and followed for up to 31 weeks.


11,264 participants were seronegative and 1,265 were seropositive including 88 who became seropositive during follow-up. In those who tested negative for antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike, 223 tested positive for the virus at baseline. No symptomatic infections and only 2 cases of asymptomatic reinfection were detected in seropositive healthcare workers.


Overall, 218 participants tested positive in the seronegative group versus 1 who was seropositive for both viral proteins, and 2 with mixed antibody results, showing a significantly lower risk of reinfection in the seropositive group.


Why it matters: Although further characterisation is needed, the immune response induced by previous SARS-CoV-2 infection via antibodies may offer protection against reinfection for a certain time period. More research is required to assess the degree and exact duration of protection against reinfection, disease, and transmission.


Source: New England Journal of Medicine

The Medical Reporter

News for healthcare enthusiasts

The information contained in this website is for general informational purposes only and not intended or implied to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The Medical Reporter assumes no responsibility for any inaccuracies of the information on this website which is subject to change without notice. Please always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professionals with any questions you may have regarding your health or medical condition.

©2020 CopperMed Health Ltd. All rights reserved.