A new recovery study from Graz shows how long the antibody level remains stable.
A recovery study at the Medical University and Biobank Graz showed strong formation of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and a stable antibody level for up to eight months. The antibody values of 326 study participants who experienced a disease with a “mild course” between February 2020 and January 2021 were evaluated, the Med-Uni drew attention to a publication in the “Journal of Infection” on Wednesday.
The study looks at changes in antibody status over a period of up to a year. So far, the researchers have been able to observe that the level of antibodies remains relatively stable for at least around eight months. An interesting observation was made in connection with additional diseases (comorbidities): People with diseases of the cardiovascular system, the respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract, the thyroid, the nervous system or with high blood pressure have a higher level of antibodies than study participants and -participants without previous illnesses, “emphasized Chiara Banfi from the Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation.
Course of the disease
Another aspect that affects the level of antibodies is the course of the disease. People who had at least one major symptom of Covid-19 had higher antibody levels than those who had recovered who had no symptoms. The actual meaning of the antibody level is still the subject of current research. Late date data and sample collection is still ongoing.
The high proportion of people with persistent symptoms was also striking: 66.9 percent still had symptoms a median of 38 days after infection. The most common were fatigue (41.1 percent), changes in the sense of taste (23.6), headaches (23.6) and changes in the sense of smell (around 20 percent).
The results would agree well with a study by Geneva researchers from early 2021 who used the same quantitative anti-RBD antibody test as the Graz team. Six months after the infection, a robust and sustained antibody response was reported there, the Graz authors also noted.
Five blood samples were taken over a period of five months from the subjects who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 using real-time PCR. The average age of the volunteers was 42 years. 300 of them experienced Covid-19 core symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and loss of taste or smell. 88 were comorbid, i.e. they also had other illnesses. When the first sample was taken, the study participants had to fill out a questionnaire on the course of the illness, previous illnesses / history and lifestyle.
All samples of the “COVID-19 convalescent / convalescence cohort” and other cohorts are stored in the Biobank Graz for further research projects. The primary goal of Biobank Graz is to provide samples for biomedical research in order to better understand diseases in detail and thus contribute to improving health care for all of us.