Limited research has shown that the majority of patients who clear their infections of SARS-CoV-2 develop serum antibodies against the virus that last for at least several months but may decline over time. Although it has been speculated that the development of antibodies may be associated with a decreased risk of reinfection, the evidence for this hypothesis is limited and often anecdotal. Documented reports of reinfection in patients with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies have raised the possibility that seropositivity might be associated with limited protection against different viral strains.
In an article published in JAMA Network, they discussed a study where an approach was used leveraging a large set of clinical laboratory data lined to other clinical information such as claims and chargemaster information to investigate the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 antibody status and subsequent nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) results in an effort to understand how serostatus may predict the risk of reinfection.
The study identified data from commercial laboratories that suggest that the presence of antibodies at SARS-CoV-2 is associated with a reduced risk of having a subsequent positive NAAT result, which may be a proxy representing a new infection or may represent continued viral shedding. The risk reduction was not seen in the first 30 days after an initial antibody test, however, it became more pronounced after 30 days and progressively strengthened through the 90-day observation period and beyond. Whew, that’s good news, right? Gotta love science! Stay well, mask up and stay tuned!