select search filters
roundups & rapid reactions
before the headlines
Fiona fox's blog

expert reaction to unpublished preprint on antibody responses of 177 people who had been diagnosed with COVID-19

A preprint, an unpublished non-peer reviewed study posted on MedRxiv, looked at the antibody responses of 177 people who had been diagnosed with COVID-19.


Prof Danny Altmann, British Society for Immunology spokesperson and Professor of Immunology at Imperial College London, said:

“This paper is currently a pre-print and is yet to undergo peer-review. It reports SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in relation to markers of severity in 177 people hospitalised with COVID-19. It’s a useful addition to the plethora of such antibody studies appearing from cohorts around the world. We learn from this that around 90% of individuals make an antibody response, this is still detected out to 2-months, and it’s not enormously influenced by the age, gender or respiratory symptoms of the people studied. While it’s reassuring that most have antibodies at 2 months, it would be remarkable for an immune response not to last this long – our real concern is to see what happens at 1 or 2 years, for which we need to wait and see. The flip-side of their data is the question of what is happening in the 10% or so who produce no antibody. If you extrapolate to global figures, it means that of the estimated 8 million or so cases globally, some 800,000 carry no protective antibody. Whether other parts of the immune response such as T cells could protect these people remains to be seen.”


Prof Eleanor Riley FMedSci, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease at the University of Edinburgh, said:

“These data look reassuringly normal. These are typical post exposure antibody curves for a population. The antibody titres seem stable (at least over the still rather short period of follow up) and it is not uncommon for a small proportion of individuals to have undetectable antibody levels after an acute infection. Antibodies are only one of the many different types of immune response an individual can make to clear an infection. These data are entirely consistent with data from similar studies emerging from China, Germany and the USA.”


”Dynamics of IgG seroconversion and pathophysiology of COVID-19 infections” by Henry Staines et al was uploaded to MedRxiv


All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:


Declared interests

None received.

in this section

filter RoundUps by year

search by tag