Duane Wesemann, MD, PhD Div. of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA 02115

Some Individuals Can Clear COVID Virus Efficiently, and Make Longer Lasting Protective Antibodies

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Duane Wesemann, MD, PhD Div. of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA 02115

Dr. Wesemann

Duane Wesemann, MD, PhD
Div. of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, MA 02115
Wesemann Lab  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: There is a lot of variability in how long antibodies to pathogens are produced in humans.  Some infections and vaccinations like measles induce high levels of antibodies that can be produced for a lifetime.  Other infections or vaccinations induce only short lived antibody responses. Also, some people make longer lasting antibodies compared to others.   We wanted to ask what the antibody durability dynamics looked like after COVID-19 and if we could tease out any insights—both with regard to COVID-19 as well as in general. 

 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We examined antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in people after they recovered from COVID-19. We had people come back every month for several months to assess antibody durability and quantified anti-virus antibody levels.  We saw that there was a lot of variation in antibody duration.  While most people saw their anti-virus IgG antibodies decline over months, there was a smaller subset (~20%) that saw their levels remain the same or increase over the same time period (3-4 months).  We split these “sustainers” and “decayers” into groups and found that antibody sustainers in general had shorter COVID-19 symptom duration. They also had more evidence of antibody mutations (a sign of more antibody somatic  evolution) in SARS-CoV-2 reactive memory B cells.  They also had different CD4 T cell findings.   

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our study points to the existence of an kind of immune system in people that is able to efficiently resolve COVID-19 symptoms while at the same time triggering a process to produce longer lived anti-virus IgG antibodies, which potentially can offer a layer of extra future protection.   

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: Our work builds a foundation for future studies aimed at deciphering the mechanism of how sustainers were able to clear symptoms more quickly and sustain antibody production for longer periods of time.  This has implications for both SARS-CoV-2-specific immune responses as well as basic aspects of immunology in general.


Yuezhou Chen, Adam Zuiani, Stephanie Fischinger, Jyotsna Mullur, Caroline Atyeo, Meghan Travers, Felipe J.N. Lelis, Krista M. Pullen, Hannah Martin, Pei Tong, Avneesh Gautam, Shaghayegh Habibi, Jillian Bensko, Deborah Gakpo, Jared Feldman, Blake M. Hauser, Timothy M. Caradonna, Yongfei Cai, John S. Burke, Junrui Lin, James A. Lederer, Evan Christopher Lam, Christy L. Lavine, Michael S. Seaman, Bing Chen, Aaron G. Schmidt, Alejandro Benjamin Balazs, Douglas A. Lauffenburger, Galit Alter, Duane R. Wesemann. Quick COVID-19 Healers Sustain Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibody ProductionCell, 2020; DOI: 1016/j.cell.2020.10.051 


Last Modified: [last-modified]

The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.


Last Updated on November 5, 2020 by Marie Benz MD FAAD