A study by the University of Cyprus suggests people over 60, men, and persons who developed symptoms were more likely to have a higher count in lgG antibodies, with scientists hoping a second phase of the research would tackle antibody count after vaccination.
Preliminary data from an ongoing study in the Republic of Cyprus suggest that levels of immunoglobulin, the most common type of antibody in human blood and other body fluid, increase in the first three months after a coronavirus infection and then decrease but remain detectable beyond six months after the infection.
The study was carried out by UCY’s Biobank, which announced the first results of a study carried out on the production of circulating immunoglobulin class G (IgG) antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in individuals with past infection in Cyprus.
“Our results show that the concentration of circulating IgG antibodies decreases with time, but they remain detectable for more than six months after symptom onset or diagnosis, which corroborates the findings of other research groups” it was stated in the study published by Journal of Clinical Medicine on December 15.
According to the study, higher antibody levels were observed in participants aged 60 and above, males, and those who reportedly developed symptoms or were hospitalized after being infected with coronavirus.
'The level of these antibodies that we measure does not fully reflect the immune efficacy of the person who got sick, but it has been proven it is a very good indicator for that person’s immunity'
The study was co-authored by a number of scientists including experts serving on the government’s pandemic advisory committee, with the authors noting that although much was known about the basics of SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology in Cyprus, there were still unanswered questions concerning the immune response of the Cypriot population to SARS-CoV-2.
But Biobank director Constantinos Deltas, who was listed as co-author in the study titled “Circulating IgG Levels in SARS-CoV-2 Convalescent Individuals in Cyprus” said in a press release that preliminary findings not published in the peer-reviewed study also suggested antibodies in vaccinated persons could be higher than those who got sick, adding that levels in persons jabbed with two doses also dropped after a few months.
Deltas, a vaccination advocate on the island with an interest in local DNA research, made clear earlier this month during an interview on state television that an antibody count was not representative of a person’s full immunity.
“The level of these antibodies that we measure does not fully reflect the immune efficacy of the person who got sick, but it has been proven it is a very good indicator for that person’s immunity,” Deltas said.
But the Biobank director went on to answer a question on whether persons with natural immunity should get vaccinated.
“Absolutely. No question about it,” Deltas said, adding people should get jabbed regardless of having been infected or not.
Next phase to tackle immunity after vaccination in Cyprus
Deltas said he expected to tackle the question about immunity in vaccinated persons after two and three doses, adding people were responding to Biobank’s calls to participate in the study.
The published study included 1898 volunteers who enrolled in the research between 19 November 2020 and 24 September 2021, with 1112 individuals (58.6%) reporting they had been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 while 786 individuals (41.4%) saying they were not aware of a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.
In its conclusion, the authors suggested their information on the immunological response to SARS-CoV-2 infection that “could help inform public health measures and interventions in Cyprus.”