“Neutralizing antibodies against Sars-CoV-2 persist in the blood for at least eight months after infection“. This is what a research conducted by IRCCS shows San Raffaele of Milan in collaboration with the Higher Institute of Health. According to the study, “neutralizing antibodies persist in patients for at least eight months after the diagnosis of Covid-19, regardless of the severity of the disease, the age of the patients or the presence of other diseases. Not only – the researchers highlight – their early presence is essential to successfully fight the infection: those who fail to produce them within the first fifteen days of infection are at greater risk of developing severe forms of Covid-19 “.
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The study was conducted following 162 SarsCoV2 positive patients over time (of which 67% male and an average age of 63 years), with symptoms of varying severity, who presented themselves to the San Raffaele emergency room during the first wave. of the pandemic. The first blood samples were collected in March-April 2020, while the last at the end of November 2020. 57% of the patients studied suffered from a second disease, in addition to Covid-19 at the time of diagnosis: hypertension (44%) and diabetes (24%) the most frequent. Out of 162 patients, 134 were hospitalized. It was thus seen that the presence of neutralizing antibodies, although reducing over time, was very persistent: at eight months from diagnosis there were only three patients who no longer showed positivity to the test, and this regardless of the age of the patients or the presence of other pathologies.
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79% of the patients enrolled produced these antibodies within the first two weeks of the onset of symptoms. “Patients unable to produce neutralizing antibodies within the first week of infection – explains Gabriella Scarlatti, research coordinator – should be identified and treated early, as they are at high risk of developing severe forms of the disease”. From the data analyzed, the researchers also verified that the reactivation of pre-existing antibodies to seasonal coronaviruses (such as those of the cold) does not slow down the production of antibodies specific to SarsCoV2 and is not associated with a greater risk of severe forms of Covid. 19. The results of this study «give us two good news – concludes Scarlatti – The first is that the immune protection given by the infection persists for a long time. The second is that the presence of a pre-existing antibody memory for seasonal coronaviruses does not constitute an obstacle to the production of antibodies against SarsCoV2 ». The next step will be to understand if these effective responses are maintained even with vaccination and against the new circulating variants.
Last updated: 11:26
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