COVID-19 antibodies last at least 5 months, study suggests

COVID-19 patients may produce antibodies for at least five months after initial infection, according to a study published in the journal Immunity.

Researchers at the University of Arizona Health Sciences in Tucson analyzed antibody production from 5,882 blood samples collected in Arizona's Pima County as part of a larger effort to create and validate a COVID-19 antibody test.

Researchers found high-quality, neutralizing antibodies were still being produced five to seven months after a COVID-19 infection.

"Whether antibodies provide lasting protection against SARS-CoV-2 has been one of the most difficult questions to answer," study co-author Michael Dake, MD, senior vice president of UArizona Health Sciences, said in a news release emailed to Becker's. "This research not only has given us the ability to accurately test for antibodies against COVID-19, but also has armed us with the knowledge that lasting immunity is a reality."

UArizona Health Sciences partnered with Arizona to launch a statewide testing initiative using the antibody test, which gained emergency use authorization in September. The blood samples collected in Pima County marked the first phase of the testing initiative. Researchers have since tested more than 30,000 people in Arizona.

Learn more about the research here.

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