Coronavirus immunity can last up to five months - and maybe even longer - in the majority of survivors, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that those who had mild-to-moderate illness, about 90 percent of people, had a robust and stable immune response against COVID-19.
What's more, most of these patients had antibodies that were able to neutralize, or kill, the virus, known as SARS-CoV-2.
The team, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, says the findings show it is very likely decrease the odds of reinfection - and if it occurs - severely weakens the disease..
It comes on the heels of a study from the UK that found a more than 26 percent decline in COVID-19 antibodies over the course of three months.
About 70% of coronavirus survivors had high levels of antibodies, 22% had moderate levels and 8% had low levels (above)
All of the blood serum in the high groups had neutralizing activity against the virus's spike protein as did 90% in the moderate group and 50% in the low group (above)
Patients had stable response after three months with only modest declines after five months (above)
'While some reports have come out saying antibodies to this virus go away quickly, we have found just the opposite,' said senior author Dr Florian Krammer, a professor of vaccinology at the Icahn School of Medicine.
'[M]ore than 90 percent of people who were mildly or moderately ill produce an antibody response strong enough to neutralize the virus, and the response is maintained for many months.'
For the study, published in the journal Science, the team looked at data from more than 30,000 individuals screened at The Mount Sinai Health System between March 2020 and October 2020.
The antibody test used was the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which looks for antibodies that attach to the spike protein the virus uses to enter and infect human cells.