Photo Credit: NIAID - RML
This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University and the Sharon Hospital at Rabin Medical Center have found that severely ill patients develop COVID-19 antibodies at a faster rate than those with a mild case of the disease.

The teams led by Professor Motti Gerlic and Professor Ariel Munitz of the Department of Microbiology and Clinical Immunology at TAU Sackler School of Medicine applied an innovative antibody test to 70 COVID-19 patients in a study targeting two different vial proteins in the patients’ bodies.

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In addition to discovering that severely ill patients developed the antibodies at a faster ratee than those with a mild case of COVID-19, the doctors found that antibodies of the type IgG were maintained in the blood of most patients throughout the study.

The antibody targeting the viral protein that binds to human cells develops at a relatively early stage of the disease. This means that the test may serve as a diagnostic tool, and as a means for fast and effective population surveys.

“This project has important implications for our understanding of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 as well as future tracking of the effectiveness of vaccines and population surveys (serological tests),” the researchers said.

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