COVID-19 Antibodies Last Longer Than Previously Thought

A new study suggests that COVID-19 antibodies remain in the body for up to 5 months.

The vast majority of people who recover from mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) maintain a robust antibody response that is relatively stable for at least 5 months, according to a study published in Science.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 1.17 million deaths and there have been over 44.3 million confirmed cases worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Previous research suggests that antibodies against the virus come and go quickly; however, new the current study contradicts that assumption, according to the authors.

The study used a dataset of 30,082 COVID-19-positive individuals who were screened within the Mount Sinai Health System between March and October 2020. Investigators used an antibody test known as an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect the presence or absence of antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. ELISA, which was developed at the Mount Sinai Health System, is also able to measure the level of antibodies an individual has.

According to the study, the vast majority of positive individuals had moderate-to-high levels of anti-spike antibodies. Of the 30,082 participants, 7.12% had low titers of COVID-19 antibodies, 22.49% had medium levels of antibodies, and 70.39% had high levels of antibodies.

"While some reports have come out saying antibodies to this virus go away quickly, we have found just the opposite—that more than 90% of people who were mildly or moderately ill produce an antibody response strong enough to neutralize the virus, and the response is maintained for many months," said senior author of the paper Florian Krammer, PhD, in a press release.

According to the study, these results may help to inform future vaccine development for COVID-19. Additionally, investigators will continue to study the cohort into the future.


Most people mount a strong antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 that does not decline rapidly [News Release] October 28, 2020; New York, NY. Accessed October 30, 2020.

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