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In a prospective, longitudinal study, N-antibodies peaked 90–100 days after infection and persisted for at least 500 days in most patients.
The duration of antibody response after SARS-CoV-2 infection is not clearly established, although prior studies have estimated that antibodies produced after natural infection last from 3 to 6 months. In the Texas Coronavirus Antibody Response Survey (Texas CARES), a prospective convenience sample was obtained from 4558 adults with diagnoses of COVID-19 from October 2020 through August 2021 who were tested at least once for nucleocapsid (N) antibodies using an assay that combined IgG, IgM, and IgA.
N-antibody test positivity peaked at 90–100 days after infection and declined slowly thereafter, such that only 7.4% of the sample was negative by 401–500 days after infection. Those aged ≥65 had longer duration of N-antibody responses than other age groups, and these levels were predicted to remain elevated for at least 500 days. Shorter-duration antibody responses were seen in those who were underweight and in those aged 30–39.
These observational data indicate that antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid peak over the first 3 months after infection, then persist for a prolonged period. While the results could suggest long-lived immune protection against subsequent infection, they are tempered by several observations. First, this study was restricted to N-antibodies (and viral neutralization was not measured). Second, we do not yet understand the impact of vaccination on the development of these antibodies. Finally, it’s not clear if these N-antibody responses would protect against infection with newer variants, such as Omicron.
Créditos: Comité científico Covid