UConn Health conducts study on COVID-19 antibodies

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Last April, UConn Health conducted a study to try to measure how long COVID-19 antibodies will last in cases both post-infection as well as after receiving the vaccine.  The study concluded COVID-19 antibodies were found in those subjects who previously tested for the virus. Image of UConn COVID-19 testing courtesy of Kevin Lindstrom / The Daily Campus.

Last April, UConn Health conducted a study to try to measure how long COVID-19 antibodies will last in cases both post-infection as well as after receiving the vaccine.  

The study, published Jan. 29, was conducted by researchers from UConn Health in cooperation with researchers from Jackson Laboratory for Genetic Medicine, as well as other institutions. 

The study concluded COVID-19 antibodies were found in those subjects who previously tested for the virus. The study did clarify the amount of these antibodies varied among individuals in the study.  

There were higher antibody levels reported in those who had more severe cases of the disease. 

“There were significant differences in S-RBD or Nucleocapsid antibody levels between outpatient, hospitalized and intensive care unit (ICU)/deceased subjects, with the highest levels observed in the most severe cases,” according to the study.   

Michael Kleinberg, a clinical research assistant at UConn Health, described the reason, scope and significance of the study’s findings. 

“The study was conducted to determine the prevalence of asymptomatic sero-conversion in healthcare workers during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in April here at UConn Health,” Kleinberg said. “Sero-conversion means the time it takes for you to develop antibodies from the virus. Since then, the study has changed. We not only test people for antibodies, but also study how long antibodies last post COVID-19 infection at two, four and six months. We also have added a vaccine portion to the study to also detect immunity in the vaccine.”  

Kleinberg continued to describe how the study was conducted.  

“We consented over 500 UConn Health employees to participate in this study as well as students and patients,” Kleinberg said. “Each person came in for a blood draw as well as filling out questionnaires to see what symptoms they had and their exposure in the workplace or outside the workplace.”  

Finally, Kleinberg elaborated upon the significance of the study and how its findings may be able to be utilized in the future.  

“With this study, we hope to find out how long immunity lasts in both COVID-19 infections and vaccinations for the virus,” Kleinberg said.  

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