Seasonal coronavirus protective immunity is short-lasting

Arthur W. D. Edridge, Joanna Kaczorowska, Alexis C. R. Hoste, Margreet Bakker, Michelle Klein, Katherine Loens, Maarten F. Jebbink, Amy Matser, Cormac M. Kinsella, Paloma Rueda, Margareta Ieven, Herman Goossens, Maria Prins, Patricia Sastre, Martin Deijs and Lia van der Hoek

In the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic a key unsolved question is the risk of reinfection. This is crucial to solve, however SARS-CoV-2 has just recently entered the human population, precluding a direct study. In the Amsterdam Cohort Study on HIV-1 infection and AIDS, healthy (HIV-1 seronegative) individuals are followed since the 1980’s. Spikes in serum coronavirus-antibodies, which were determined via virus specific ELISA’s, mark infections by the four seasonal coronaviruses. Each seasonal coronavirus (NL63, 229E, OC43 and HKU1) showed reinfections, a characteristic that can consequently be regarded as a general one for human coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Measuring the time interval between infections provides the opportunity to determine the duration of protection, as reinfections can only occur when protective immunity (cellular and/or humoral) is insufficient. Coronavirus reinfections occurred most frequently at 12 months after infection, indicating that protective immunity is only short-lived

Published September 2020 in Nature Medicine

       Nat Med Edridge


Host switching pathogens, infectious outbreaks and zoonosis; a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 721367.