Two separate studies late last week in Science Immunology document the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in COVID-19 patients at least 3 months after symptom onset. Both studies suggest that longer-lasting immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies may hold promise as a tool to evaluate viral immune response. One study also demonstrates a correlation between blood and saliva antibody levels, suggesting that saliva could serve as an easier-to-collect alternative to blood testing. While the presence of COVID-19–specific antibodies—immune molecules generated by the body in response to a virus—has been demonstrated in infected patients, the durability of COVID-19 antibodies is not yet fully understood. Previous studies have shown antibodies diminishing to undetectable levels 2 months after infection in asymptomatic patients. The duration of antibody response is critical for tracking the spread of COVID-19 as well as to inform vaccine development.

 

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