A study in macaques infected with the new coronavirus suggested that once infected, the monkeys produce neutralizing antibodies and resist further infection.
But it is unclear how long the monkeys, or people infected with the virus, will remain immune. even if antibody protection were short-lasting and people became reinfected, The second bout with the coronavirus would likely be much milder than the first, said Florian Krammer, a microbiologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. A crucial question is whether children and adults who have only mild symptoms still generate a strong enough response to remain immune to the virus until a vaccine is available.
Antibody tests are used in Singapore, China and a handful of other countries. Because this is a new coronavirus, the test should deliver “basically, a yes or no answer, like an HIV test. Finding people with powerful antibody responses might help point the way to new treatments. Antibodies gathered from the bodies of those who have recovered may be used to aid those struggling with the illness caused by the coronavirus. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of plasma from recovered patients to treat some severe cases.