The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected dental professionals, who are thought to be at high occupational risk of infection. In this study, researchers from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. sought to determine the magnitude, persistence, and neutralizing capacity of serum antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
They analyzed venous blood samples and the total antibody response in a group of patients at baseline and at three and six months after infection, as well as the immunoglobulin G (IgG) threshold for protection from reinfection. Seroprevalence at baseline was 16.3%.
Seropositivity was retained in 73% of participants who returned after three months and in 72% of participants who returned after six months, prior to their vaccination, the researchers found. Seropositivity arising after natural infection conferred a 74% risk reduction for reinfection during follow-up.
The results show that natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 led to persistent, neutralizing, and protective serological responses in the dental professionals enlisted in the study, the group concluded.
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