Researchers at the University of Amsterdam conducted a study of human coronaviruses and found that post-infection immunity was not lasting, with reinfections at 12 months and as early as six months later. Researchers noted the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has not been active long enough for long-term study and their research focused on four seasonal coronaviruses.

Researchers found that there was an “alarmingly short duration of protective immunity to coronaviruses” with scientists noting “frequent reinfections at 12 months post-infection and substantial reduction in antibody levels as soon as 6 months post-infection”.

“Still, they all seem to induce a short-lasting immunity with rapid loss of antibodies. This may well be a general denominator for human coronaviruses.

“If SARS-CoV-2 will behave like a seasonal coronavirus in the future, a similar pattern may be expected,” they went on.


Photo Credit: CDC / C.S. Goldsmith and A. Tamin. Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first US case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV. The spherical extracellular viral particles contain cross-sections through the viral genome, seen as black dots.