Nearly one-third of the patients tested for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had low levels of coronavirus antibodies, according to researchers from Fudan University, China.
The researchers ran antibody tests on the blood plasma on 175 Chinese who tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered.
According to Daily Mail, "Our bodies produce lots of powerful antibodies when we encounter some viruses or bacteria, but only low levels of antibodies that quickly dissipate in response to others."
The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) cited the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which "has begun recruiting volunteers for a study to determine how many Americans without a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, based on the presence of antibodies in their blood."
SARS-CoV-2 or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.
Starts from within
The survey will analyze blood samples from 10,000 volunteers for the presence of two antibodies produced by the body in response to a virus: immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG). The researchers may also perform other tests and analyses on the blood samples to determine what kind of immune response the body generated.
The body produces two antibodies to fight viruses: immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG). WebMD said IgM antibodies are the body's first line of defense against infections. The body will increase IgM levels for a short duration, then slowly drop as IgG antibodies activate and increase in level, giving the body long-term protection.
IgM protects the body from new bacteria or germs, while IgG remembers what germs or bacteria it has been exposed to in the past.
Daily Mail said, "The Trump administration has repeatedly pointed to the results of antibody testing as a key signal for when the US can reopen." The US has been carrying out antibody tests, but experts warn not all of them have been properly validated. They are unsure of the type of protection the immunity cells offer.
Plus, some antibodies do not work in neutralizing the invader or antigen that they were made to combat. They also linger at different durations in the blood, too.
What experts are sure of is the higher the number of antibodies in a person's blood plasma, the stronger the body's immune response. Possibly even against future reinfection from COVID-19.
Time to heal
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, "we have a ways to go before antibody testing is reliable enough to tell Americans whether they can return to work without fear of reinfection with COVID-19." Dr. Fauci also said antibodies linger in the bloodstream for different durations.
Dr. Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus taskforce, recommends the US government to continue stay-at-home orders. He said, "if the US moves too quickly to end stay-at-home orders there could be another surge in COVID-19 cases.
According to Google, the US has almost 800,000 confirmed cases and over 40,000 deaths due to COVID-19.
Dr. Fauci added, "Unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery economically is not going to happen."