A new study suggests that antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 have declined among individuals in the UK, Reuters reports.
Researchers from the Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) study tested 365,000 randomly selected adults in the UK for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 following the March and April COVID-19 wave. In a pre-print that has yet to be peer reviewed, the researchers found that antibody prevalence declined from 6.0 percent in late June to 4.4 percent in September.
"As a whole, these data suggest the possibility that decreasing population immunity will lead to an increased risk of reinfection as detectable antibodies decline in the population," co-author Graham Cooke from Imperial College London tells the Guardian.
The findings, Reuters notes, are in line with other surveys, such as one conducted in Germany, that indicated most people don't have antibodies and those that do might lose them over time.
Imperial's Wendy Barclay adds at Reuters that this does not necessarily mean that vaccine-induced immunity would be short-lived. "A good vaccine may well be better than natural immunity," she tells it.