Antibodies, Immunity, and COVID-19 Invited Commentary Invited Commentary Brad Spellberg, MD; Travis B. Nielsen, PhD; Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD Widespread availability of commercial assays that detect anti– than 60%, and perhaps up to 80%, of the population may need severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS- immunity for the viral replication rate to drop below 1, en- CoV-2) antibodies has enabled researchers to examine natu- abling a modest level of disease control. Such immunity may rally acquired immunity to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID- be achieved via recovery of many individuals from wide- 19) at the population level. spread infection, or preferably via the availability of safe and Several studies have found effective vaccines. Related article that the SARS-CoV-2 sero- Unfortunately, history has shown that although herd im- prevalence (the percentage of the population with serum con- munity resulting from infection can curb pandemics, it does taining antibodies that recognize the virus) has remained be- not eradicate diseases. The historical precedent that most low 20% even in the most adversely affected areas globally, closely approximates, and was substantially worse than, the 1-3 such as Spain and Italy. In this issue of JAMA Internal Medi- current COVID-19 pandemic is the 1918
JAMA Internal Medicine – American Medical Association
Published: Apr 24, 2021
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