Immune Response Varies Based on Severity

SARS-CoV-2 antibodies wane over time, and more severe cases stir stronger immune responses, a trio of new studies concur.

And while they diverge over how long antibodies last, this isn’t necessarily cause for concern.

Milder cases tended to have a “transient” neutralizing antibody response that could fade within 50 days, a study in Nature Microbiology found, while some patients with higher initial antibody levels maintained them for 60+ days after symptoms arose, CIDRAP reports.

For 90% of cases in a European Journal of Immunology study, antibodies faded after an initial spike in the first 3 weeks after symptoms appeared but remained detectable at least 6 months post-infection.

However, a preprint study involving 365,000 adults by Imperial College London researchers found that COVID-19 antibodies declined more than 26% over just 3 months.
 
But fear not, experts say: It’s normal for antibody levels to wane after acute infection, and it doesn’t mean there’s no protection—plus, antibodies are only one part of a multipronged immune response, The New York Times reports.

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