TORONTO — People who have been infected with COVID-19 can have antibodies that last up to three months, a new study finds.
Researchers from the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and the University of Toronto released the findings of their study on Thursday.
Participants in the study, who had previously been infected with COVID-19, provided both saliva and blood samples to measure antibody levels for three months after the onset of symptoms.
The study found that antibodies were detectable in both blood and saliva for at least 115 days, which represents the longest time interval that was measured.
Researchers said while there is “a lot they still don’t know” about antibody response to COVID-19, the findings of this study could have “broader implications in the development of an effective vaccine.”
“This study suggests that if a vaccine is properly designed, it has the potential to induce a durable antibody response that can help protect the vaccinated person against the virus that causes COVID-19,” Jennifer Gommerman, professor of immunology at the University of Toronto, said about the findings.
According to researchers, most people who recover from COVID-19 develop antibodies that are specific to the disease. The antibodies are also useful to help indicate who has been infected, regardless of whether they had symptoms or not.
According to the researchers, the length antibody response to COVID-19 has been debated in recent months.
“This study led by the Toronto team is in agreement with findings from leading immunologists in the U.S. in describing the antibody response as longer lasting,” the researchers said.
To date, there have not been any approved COVID-19 vaccines in Canada but there are several around the world in the final stages of testing.