Gulf Today

COVID-19 antibodies ‘last 8 months after infection’


ROME: Antibodies against coronaviru­s remained in the blood of patients with COVID-19 for at least eight months ater they were infected, Italian researcher­s said on Tuesday.

They were present “regardless of the severity of the illness, the age of the patients or the presence of other pathologie­s,” according to a statement from the San Raffaele hospital in Milan.

The researcher­s, working with Italy’s ISS national health institute, studied 162 patients with symptomati­c coronaviru­s who turned up at the emergency room during the country’s first wave of infections last year.

Blood samples were taken in March and

April and again at the end of November from those who survived. Some 29 patients died.

“The presence of neutralisi­ng antibodies, while reducing over time, was very persistent — eight months ater diagnosis, there were only three patients who no longer showed positivity to the test,” said the statement, issued jointly with the ISS.

The study, published in the Nature Communicat­ions scientific journal, also emphasised the importance of the developmen­t of antibodies in recovering from coronaviru­s.

“Those who failed to produce them within the first 15 days of infection are at greater risk of developing severe forms of COVID-19,” it said.

Two thirds of the patients surveyed were men, and the average age was 63. Some 57 per cent of them had a pre-existing pathology, notably hypertensi­on and diabetes.

Meanwhile, a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal said nonhospita­lised COVID-19 patients have a low risk of serious long- term effects, but they report more visits to general practition­ers following infection.

“The absolute risk of severe post-acute complicati­ons ater SARS-COV-2 infection not requiring hospital admission is low. However, increases in visits to general practition­ers and outpatient hospital visits could indicate

COVID-19 sequelae,” the study found.

It was a population-based cohort study using the Danish prescripti­on, patient and health insurance registries.

Another study found that people with increasing body mass index (BMI) may be at the risk of testing positive for SARS-COV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.

The researcher­s, from the Chaim Sheba Medical Centre in Israel, found that the odds of testing positive for SARS-COV-2 were 22 per cent more higher in patients who were overweight or obese compared to those with a normal BMI.

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