Asymptomatic Covid patients lose antibodies more rapidly, says study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 27, 2020

UK study also notes reduction in people's immune response to Covid-19 over time

Covid-19 positive people who are asymptomatic seem to lose antibodies against the virus sooner than people who are symptomatic.

Also read: Covid spread: Ban on mass gatherings can reduce rate by 24%, says study

The researchers at Imperial College London, in collaboration with market research firm Ipsos Mori, conducted one of the biggest studies to find out antibody levels. The study was published on the official website of the Imperial College, London.

The findings of the study suggested that the loss of antibodies was slower in 18-24-year-olds compared to those aged 75 and over. The findings also noted that samples from hundreds of thousands of people across England between mid-June and late September revealed that the prevalence of antibodies in people fell by more than a quarter.

The research noted a reduction in people's immune response to Covid-19 over time.

Also read: Covid-19 incubation period can be 1 to 34 days: Study

However, the scientists also added that a great deal remains unknown about people's long-term antibody response to the virus.

Paul Elliott, of Imperial's School of Public Health, said: "It remains unclear what level of immunity antibodies provide, or for how long this immunity lasts."


The study gathered data from 365,000 randomly-selected adults who were administered at home three rounds of finger-prick tests for coronavirus antibodies between June 20 and September 28.


The findings showed the number of people with antibodies fell by 26.5 per cent over the approximately three-month period.

The study further added that at the national level, it meant the proportion of the English population with antibodies dropped from 6 per cent to 4.4 per cent.

Contrary to the above-mentioned findings, the research also found that the number of healthcare workers testing positive for antibodies did not change over time. This shows repeated, or higher initial, exposure to the virus.

Helen Ward, one of the lead authors, said in a statement: "This very large study has shown that the proportion of people with detectable antibodies is falling over time."

"We don't yet know whether this will leave these people at risk of reinfection with the virus that causes Covid-19, but it is essential that everyone continues to follow guidance to reduce the risk to themselves and others," she added.

Published on October 27, 2020

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