Coronavirus-Neutralizing Antibodies Found in Japan

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, July 14 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry said Tuesday that it has discovered neutralizing antibodies in samples collected from eight people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in antibody tests.

It is the first time that antibodies that neutralize the coronavirus and make people immune to infection have been found in the country. The ministry plans to conduct research on how long the antibodies will remain effective in preventing infection in human bodies.

When people are infected with viruses, their bodies create antibodies, or proteins capable of blocking future infection with the same viruses. Antibody tests check whether people have such proteins.

The ministry released last month the results of mass antibody tests for the novel coronavirus conducted in the northeastern prefecture of Miyagi, Tokyo and the western prefecture of Osaka using an agent manufactured by a foreign company and another from a different firm abroad.

Defining antibody holders as those who tested positive for both agents, the ministry found that one out of 3,009 test-takers in Miyagi, two out of 1,971 in Tokyo and five out of 2,970 in Osaka have antibodies against the coronavirus. The finding implies that the eight people had previously been infected with the virus.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press