Top scientists in the UK are warning that immunity to Covid-19 in recovered patients may only last a few months.
A new study conducted by King’s College London has suggested that immunity antibodies decrease significantly in the three months following infection, which mean patients are left susceptible to reinfection year after year – similar to the common cold.
The research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, looked into the immune response of 90 patients and healthcare workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust.
It is believed to be the first longitudinal study of its kind.
While the analysis revealed a “potent” level of antibodies could be found in 60 per cent of participants while at the peak of their battle with coronavirus, sequential blood tests showed only 17 per cent sustained that same level of potency three months later.
Antibodies decreased 23-fold in some cases, and were depleted entirely in others.
The report states that its findings have “important implications when considering widespread (antibody) testing, (antibody) protection against re-infection with (Covid 19) and the durability of vaccine protection.”
It added: “Further studies using sequential samples from these individuals is required to fully determine the longevity of the (antibody) response and studies determining the (antibodies’) threshold for protection from re-infection are needed.”
It comes as Lancashire recorded 36 new cases of coronavirus in yesterday's (July 12) figures from Public Health England.
11 of those cases were in the high-risk Blackburn with Darwen area and 11 were in the Pendle area of Lancashire. Both have been seeing new cases at a much higher rate than the rest of the county over the past fortnight.
There were also cases confirmed in Blackpool, Burnley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Preston and West Lancashire.
No new cases were confirmed in Chorley, Lancaster, Ribble Valley, Rossendale and South Ribble.
It means there are now 8,821 cases of coronavirus across Lancashire.
The new figures are based on people being tested both through Pillar 1 (in hospitals) and Pillar 2 (through drive-through test centres and swabs sent by post).
Under the new system historic Pillar 2 data is now included.
It is important to stress these are not new coronavirus cases but ones previously not included in the Public Health England data.
No more deaths were announced at hospital trusts operating in Lancashire, or the North West.
Lancashire's death toll now stands at 998.