Two studies in monkeys published on Wednesday offer some of the first scientific evidence that surviving COVID-19 may result in immunity from reinfection, a positive sign that vaccines under development may succeed, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.
Although scientists have assumed that antibodies produced in response to the new coronavirus virus are protective, there has been scant scientifically rigorous evidence to back that up.
In one of the new studies, researchers infected nine monkeys with COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. After they recovered, the team exposed them to the virus again and the animals did not get sick.
The findings suggest that they “do develop natural immunity that protects against re-exposure,” said Dr. Dan Barouch, a researcher at the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston, whose studies were published in the journal Science.
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