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COVID-19 antibodies could persist at least 4 months

Published : 13 Oct 2020, 19:54

Updated : 13 Oct 2020, 19:57

  DF News Desk

File Photo Xinhua.

A Finnish research indicates that the antibodies created by the COVID-19 infection could persist at least four months, reported Xinhua quoting a press release from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

A joint project by the THL and the City of Helsinki showed that the COVID-19 antibodies were formed within a month of the infection and could be detected as late as four months after the infection in most patients, the THL said in a press release, noting that this is longer than in many earlier studies.

In its next stage, the project attempts verification of a six- or seven- month duration.

Merit Melin, a senior scientist at the THL, said the research especially focused on such antibodies that can neutralize the novel coronavirus in laboratory conditions.

"Nearly all patients formed neutralizing antibodies and most retained them through the period observed," she said, noting that international research had seldom so far focused on antibodies that neutralize the virus.

Hanna Nohynek, a chief physician at the THL, underlined the importance of the results with a view to vaccine development.

"As also the vaccines aim at creating long-enduring antibodies, it is promising that the length of natural immunity is longer than earlier reported," she said in the press release.

The release elaborated that the natural immunity reaction produces antibodies that target the spike protein of the virus, and most of the vaccines currently being developed are also based on this structure.

The study, which started in March this year, comprised 129 people in families where at least one person had been diagnosed with COVID-19, of which 64 had a diagnosis confirmed with the PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) tests. Among the 64 people, antibodies were detected in 63 cases. And 17 other people developed antibodies even though they had no PCR-confirmed infection, according to the THL.

Globally, to fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States, are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.