Massachusetts General Hospital: Patients Who Had a Severe Form of COVID-19 Have a Strong Immune Response

A new study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital showed that patients who develop a severe form of Covid-19 continue to have antibodies months after infection.



Survivors of severe forms of Covid-19 develop immune responses to SARS-Cov-2, which provides lasting protection against possible reinfection.

Read Also: Coronavirus Pandemic: Does Your Age Make You More Susceptible to Getting COVID-19?

This is the conclusion reached by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in a study published in Science Immunology. In their opinion, the measurement of these antibodies could prove to be an accurate tool to monitor the spread of the virus in the population.

Immunity for at least four months

In response to SARS-Cov-2 infection, the virus responsible for Covid-19, the immune system produces antibodies. But, explains Richelle Charles, lead author of the study, “there is a huge gap in knowledge about the duration of these antibody reactions.”

To find out how long the immune response against the new coronavirus lasted, Richelle Charles and her colleagues analyzed blood samples from 343 patients with Covid-19, most of whom had developed a severe form. The blood samples were taken up to four months after the onset of symptoms. The blood plasma was isolated and exposed to the virus. The team then studied how different types of antibodies in the plasma were linked to the virus. The results were compared with blood samples taken from over 1,500 people before the pandemic.

Read Also: COVID-19: Why Is Herd Immunity Not an Option According to the WHO?

The researchers found that the measurement of an antibody called immunoglobulin G (IgG) was very accurate in identifying infected patients who had been symptomatic for at least 14 days. Since the standard PCR test for SARS-Cov-2 loses its sensitivity over time, researchers believe it is important to combine it with a serological test in patients who have been symptomatic for at least eight days. This will help identify some positive cases that may have been overlooked.

Tracking antibodies to monitor their spread

In addition, researchers found that IgG levels in these patients remained high for four months and were associated with the presence of protective neutralizing antibodies, which also showed a slight decrease in activity over time. “This means that people are most likely protected during this time,” said Professor Charles. “We have shown that the main antibody responses to Covid-19 do persist”.

While immunoglobulin G levels remained high in the months following SARS-Cov-2 infection, immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin M (IgM) levels dropped much faster falling to low levels on average within two and a half months or less. “We can now say that a patient who has both IgA and IgM reactions is likely to have been infected with the virus in the last two months.

Read Also: COVID-19: Two Patients Tested Positive for SARS-Cov-2 a Second Time

For Dr. Jason Harris, MGH’s pediatric infectious disease specialist and co-author of the study, knowing the duration of the IgA and IgM immune response will help researchers obtain more accurate data on the spread of SARS-Cov2.

“There are many infections in the population that we cannot detect through PCR tests during acute infection, and this is especially true in areas where access to testing is limited,” he said. It is important to know how long antibody reactions last before antibody tests can be used to monitor the spread of Covid-19 and identify “hot spots” of the disease.


Persistence and decay of human antibody responses to the receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in COVID-19 patients

Recommended Reads:

Coronavirus Pandemic: The Flip-Flops of the Scientific Community

Is There A Link Between Pandemics and Climate Change?

Vaccines May Protect You Against Other Diseases Besides Those They Were Made for According To Study

Too Much Salt Weakens the Immune System According to Study

Genf20 Plus Review: Why Are People Rushing to Buy This HGH Supplement?

COVID-19: All the Essential Vitamins and Minerals for a Strong Immune System

Growth Factor Plus: Benefits, Ingredients, Side effects, Cost and Testimonials

Hydroxychloroquine: Why Is Using It to Treat Coronavirus So Controversial?

Immune Defence Review: Swiss Research Labs Develops Lozenges to Boost Immune Response



Want to Stay Informed?

Join the Gilmore Health News Newsletter!

Want to live your best life?

Get the Gilmore Health Weekly newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.

By clicking "Subscribe," I agree to the Gilmore Health and . I also agree to receive emails from Gilmore Health and I understand that I may opt out of Gilmore Health subscriptions at any time.