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Antibodies Disappear in 10% of Coronavirus-Recovered Patients and 5% Test Positive Again In New Study

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 10 Aug 2020
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A study has revealed that antibodies against the novel coronavirus disappeared in 10% of a sample group of COVID-19-recovered patients, 5% were again in quarantine after testing positive for the virus, and 90% reported lung damage.

A team of researchers at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University (Wuhan, China) has been conducting follow-up visits with 100 coronavirus-recovered patients since April, with the first phase of the one-year program completed in July. Results from the first phase showed that the lungs were still in a damaged state in 90% of the patients, suggesting that the ventilation and gas exchange functions of their lungs have yet to recover to the level of healthy people. Additionally, a walking test revealed that the COVID-19-recovered patients could only walk 400 meters in six minutes as compared to 500 meters by their healthy peers. Moreover, some recovered patients were still dependent on oxygen machines even three months after being discharged from the hospital.

The researchers also found that antibodies against the novel coronavirus had disappeared in 10% of the patients. Out of the sample group of 100 COVID-19-recovered patients, 5% received negative results in COVID-19 nucleic acid tests, but positive results in Immunoglobulin M (IgM) tests, leading them to be quarantined once again. The immune systems of the patients showed a low level of B cells, but a high level of T cells which only recognize viral antigens outside infected cells, indicating that they have not yet fully recovered. The findings are significant as the coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan city.

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Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University

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