Monkeys infected with coronavirus develop short-term immunity

Six rhesus macaques were infected in their trachea with a dose of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Published: 04th July 2020 12:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th July 2020 12:59 PM   |  A+A-


Representational image (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

WASHINGTON: Test monkeys infected with the novel coronavirus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic were protected from reinfection for up to 28 days later, a Chinese study out on Thursday in the journal Science said. While the monkeys displayed initial immunity, it’s unclear how long such immunity will last in humans — it will be necessary to wait months, or even years, to know if the millions of people infected at the start of the pandemic are protected from re-infection.

Scientists from Peking Union Medical College performed an experiment on rhesus macaques, often used because of their similarities to humans, to find out if they have a short-term immunity to the virus. Six rhesus macaques were infected in their trachea with a dose of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They developed mild to moderate symptoms and took about two weeks to recover.

Twenty-eight days after the first infection, four of the six monkeys received another dose of virus, but this time, despite a brief rise in temperature, they showed no sign of reinfection, the study authors wrote. By taking frequent samples the researchers discovered that the peak viral load was reached three days after the monkeys were infected. The monkeys showed a stronger immune response after the first infection, producing more so-called neutralising antibodies which may have protected them against short-term reinfection, the scientists wrote in the study.

More from World.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp