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Coronavirus Antibodies: Who produces more and who loses faster

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Kamal Saini
Kamal S. has been Journalist and Writer for Business, Hardware and Gadgets at Revyuh.com since 2018. He deals with B2b, Funding, Blockchain, Law, IT security, privacy, surveillance, digital self-defense and network policy. As part of his studies of political science, sociology and law, he researched the impact of technology on human coexistence. Email: kamal (at) revyuh (dot) com

Interesting conclusion that men produce higher levels of antibodies than women after their asymptomatic COVID-19 infection and maintain them for a longer period of time, scientists conclude in a new study.

Due to the lack of sufficient data on the role of asymptomatic people in transmitting COVID-19 infection, as well as antibodies produced by the body after coronavirus infection, scientists from Cardiff Metropolitan University decided to examine various staff members of the institution for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies. These individuals were asymptomatic in July 2020.

As Dr. Jessica Williams, associate professor of Cardiovascular Metabolism and Inflammation at Cardiff Metropolitan University, explains in an article in The Conversation about how common asymptomatic infections were during the first wave of the pandemic, duration of antibodies of COVID-19, and whether there are differences in the response of each person’s immune system to the virus.

Revealing the differences

To perform the screening program, scientists used a blood test, which provided results in just 10 minutes. These results were then compared with two independent “gold standard” methods used in health laboratories to test for antibodies to COVID-19. The study looked at the same people over two different time periods with a difference of three months.

At their first screening in July 2020, all participants were well, undiagnosed with coronavirus and had no obvious symptoms of the disease, although some reported experiencing mild symptoms of COVID-19 in the previous three months.

Of the 739 people tested3.65% had COVID-19 antibodies, slightly lower than the UK national average suggested by the UK REACT study (4-6%) at the time. This may be due to the fact that the majority of the University staff worked from home from March to September 2020, so they were effectively protected from infection.

The study did not show a statistically significant difference between the number of men and women who had antibodies, although antibody prevalence was higher in men over 40 years of age. However, when scientists compared the levels of antibodies in those tested positive for the virus, they found a significant difference: levels in male participants were three times higher than in women, but there was no difference in the symptoms reported by both sexes i.e. the severity of the infection that produced them.

When we followed up with a second test three months later, we found another key difference. Of those who had previously had antibodies against COVID-19, 21.7% no longer tested positive, implying that one in five asymptomatic people who generate antibodies against COVID-19 lose these after six months

writes Jessica Williams.

Interestingly, 80% of those who had lost their antibodies in our study were women. The women who had lost their antibodies were also on average ten years older than women who retained antibodies. This may be related to an altered immune response in women who are approaching the menopause or are post-menopausal, similar to that seen in the flu

In conclusion, however, the results suggest that when assessing immunity to COVID-19 – and its duration – we should be prepared for the fact that immunity is not the same for everyone, as age and gender can contribute to significant differences.

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