In recent weeks there have been at least 12 cases of coronavirus reinfection worldwide, but according to the latest research, these are unusual episodes: new studies show that COVID-19 causes prolonged immunity.
A report published by the journal Immunity ensures that neutralizing antibodies last between five and seven months after infection with the virus. And researchers at the University of Arizona say that if the virus behaves similarly, it may provide protection for at least two years.
Other investigations accompany these hypotheses. Doctors at a Massachusetts hospital investigated 343 coronavirus patients, most of them recovered from severe symptoms, and found that these people had high levels of IgG antibodies for up to four months after infection.
Professionals found that other types of antibodies disappear more easily, such as IgM that develops after the disease, but IgG remain for a long time and are what would guarantee long-term protection.
What is the difference between some antibodies and others? The IgM antibody is the one that is activated to fight the area where the virus lives. But approximately two weeks after infection, the body begins to produce IgG antibodies, which not only have neutralizing capabilities but also “have memory” to recognize the virus in a next intrusion and prevent it from developing.
Cited by the journal Science Immunology, a third study conducted in Canada shows that IgG antibodies remain in bodies at high levels for up to 115 days after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms.