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Patients who survive serious coronavirus infection have immune responses against the virus that lasts months, according to a recent Massachusetts General Hospital study, offering hope about protection from reinfection.Doctors have long known that the immune system produces antibodies in response to COVID-19 infection, but “there is a big knowledge gap in terms of how long these antibody responses last,” said Dr. Richelle Charles, investigator in the division of infectious diseases at MGH and a senior author of the research.
Charles and her team got blood samples from 343 coronavirus patients, most with severe cases, and found that levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin G stayed elevated in the patients for four months and had neutralizing properties.
“That means that people are very likely protected for that period of time,” said Charles. “We showed that key antibody responses to COVID-19 do persist.”
The blood samples were taken from the patients up to four months after the onset of symptoms and plasma was isolated to see how different types of antibodies bound to the part of the virus that leads to infection.
The authors wrote, “The observation that (immunoglobulin G) and neutralizing antibody responses persist is encouraging, and suggests the development of …
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