Study shows significant drop in Covid antibodies in 80 Malegaon patients

Updated on Sep 10, 2022 03:17 AM IST

The first phase of the study, titled, ‘A Prospective Cohort Study to Determine Seroprevalence for Covid 19 (lgG) Antibodies and their Follow Up Among Adult Population Of Malegaon in Maharashtra,’ was published in the Asian Journal of Medical Sciences on July 22 this year.

This study was conducted as Malegaon corporation area was a hotspot of infection in the first wave witnessing 178 deaths and 4,560 positive patients with a positivity rate of 18.5%. (AFP (PIC FOR REPRESENTATION))
This study was conducted as Malegaon corporation area was a hotspot of infection in the first wave witnessing 178 deaths and 4,560 positive patients with a positivity rate of 18.5%. (AFP (PIC FOR REPRESENTATION))

According to a study, conducted by Maharashtra University of Health science (MUHS) there are 80 cases where a significant drop in antibodies was seen among patients in Malegaon. Researchers are studying these patients and their samples to understand the causes behind the drop in antibodies.

The first phase of the study, titled, ‘A Prospective Cohort Study to Determine Seroprevalence for Covid 19 (lgG) Antibodies and their Follow Up Among Adult Population Of Malegaon in Maharashtra,’ was published in the Asian Journal of Medical Sciences on July 22 this year. The first phase was conducted in January with a 2,454 patients that were positive during the second wave.

Dr Nirmalkumar Rawandale, associate professor and head of the department of medicine, Government Medical College, Dhule, also the principal investigator of the study said that the survey is conducted in three phases.

“The first phase of the study found that 93.9 per cent of the subjects were positive for 19 neutralizing antibodies. Maximum positive antibody status was seen in the age group of 20 to 40 years which was around 55.6%. And 77.9 per cent of subjects following a mixed diet, consisting of vegetables and non vegetarian food items, were having higher antibody titers. Around 83.2% of subjects who received vaccines showed higher antibody titers. And maximum antibodies were seen in subjects using Vitamin c Zinc tablets (92.1%),” said Dr Rawandale.

“The third phase is now collecting samples of patients who registered a drop in antibodies and will determine why this drop was seen,” he said.

Lt Gen (retd) Madhuri Kanitkar, vice-chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), said that the preliminary analysis of the same participants during the second survey shows that around 1,670 of them the decay in antibodies was not rapid.

“In the third phase, we will focus on those remaining 80 participants which have shown rapid decay of antibodies. Through the third phase of the study, we want to find out whether the memory cells of these 80 persons with very low antibody levels can mount an antibody response if they are exposed to the virus,” said Kanitkar.

Reason for study

This study was conducted as Malegaon corporation area was a hotspot of infection in the first wave witnessing 178 deaths and 4,560 positive patients with a positivity rate of 18.5%. In second wave positive cases were 6,222 and 120 deaths were reported. However, in the second wave, the infection was low in Malegaon even when there was high vaccine hesitancy in the population. The magic Malegaon project was taken up by Maharashtra University of Health Sciences to understand the reasons why Covid-19 cases continued to be low in Malegaon, unlike the trend elsewhere in Nashik district which had registered a spike in Covid cases in the third wave

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

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