Coronavirus: Infected monkeys were protected from reinfection a month later

Monkeys infected with the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 were protected from reinfection a month later, signalling that short-term immunity at least may be possible, a new study has found.

The study, by a team from Peking Union Medical College, found that rhesus macaques reinfected with the disease showed “notably enhanced neutralising antibody and immune responses”.

The study, published in Science on Thursday, said further research was needed to determine how long this protection would last and how the protection mechanism might work for humans.

Four macaques, a species often used in experiments because of their genetic similarity to humans, were infected with the virus and then reinfected 28 days later.

While the four showed a short increase in temperature, they did not otherwise show any other symptoms or infection.

“Our results suggest that primary Sars-CoV-2 [the official name of the virus] exposure protects against subsequent reinfection in rhesus macaques,” the scientists wrote.

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