Antibodies in recovered Covid-19 people can keep away second infection: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 28, 2020

The findings will help understand whether the antibodies generated by the Covid-19 vaccine would stop the pandemic from further spreading

According to a new study published in the medRxiv preprint server, antibodies can ward off the second wave of Covid-19 infection.

The study analysed 122 people who onboarded a fishing vessel during the major outbreak of the pandemic. Of them, three people, who had earlier recuperated from the coronavirus, were found to have developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

Researchers carried out antibody (serological), and viral detection (reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR) tests before the departure of the vessel and upon its return. During its 18 days at sea, 104 of the 122 crew members contracted the virus from a single source.

The findings of the study are significant to understand whether the antibodies generated by the Covid-19 vaccine would be able to stop the pandemic from further spreading.

The researchers stated in their study: “A total of 104 individuals had an RT-PCR positive viral test... yielding an attack rate on board of 85.2 per cent. Only three crew members tested seropositive (antibodies positive) prior to departure in initial serological screening and also had neutralising and spike-reactive antibodies in follow-up assays... None of these crew members showed evidence of bona fide viral infection or experienced any symptoms during the outbreak.”

Researchers also speculated that the three people developed antibodies against the virus probably because they did not come in close contact with other crew members.

“Vaccines currently in development against SARS-CoV-2 have been shown to elicit levels of neutralising antibodies comparable to those observed in naturally-infected persons. However, the protective nature of both vaccine- and infection-elicited neutralising antibodies in humans remains unproven, with animal models being used to make inferences about protection,” the authors wrote in their study.

Published on August 17, 2020

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