King’s study suggests Covid-19 antibodies can be lost over time

The study shows a significant antibody decrease after a three-month period

A new study by King’s College London researchers has shown that the presence of coronavirus antibodies in individuals can decrease over time.

Researchers monitored coronavirus antibody levels in ninety patients and healthcare workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust. The longitudinal study observed the immune responses of participants through blood tests.

The results of the study showed that while 60% of patients had significant antibody levels two weeks after coronavirus symptoms appeared, this number dropped to  17% after a three-month period. The study also indicated that antibody levels rose higher and lasted for a longer duration in patients deemed severe cases.

The results thus show that individuals can lose immunity over time, and could have potential implications for future vaccine developments.

The study, which was published as a preprint in the MedRxiv portal, has not yet been peer-reviewed, and thus cannot yet be used to guide clinical practice. King’s rapid-response funding call, which made £500,000 available for coronavirus research purposes, was one of the study’s sources of funding.