What Is the Antibody Response and Role in Conferring Natural Immunity After SARS-CoV-2 Infection? Rapid, Living Practice Points From the American College of Physicians (Version 2) Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • Description

    The Scientific Medical Policy Committee (SMPC) of the American College of Physicians (ACP) developed these living, rapid practice points to summarize the current best available evidence on the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and protection against reinfection with SARS-CoV-2. This is version 2 of the ACP practice points, which serves to update version 1, published on 16 March 2021. These practice points do not evaluate vaccine-acquired immunity or cellular immunity.


    The SMPC developed this version of the living, rapid practice points based on an updated living, rapid, systematic review conducted by the Portland VA Research Foundation and funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

    Practice point 1

    Do not use SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

    Practice point 2

    Do not use SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests to predict the degree or duration of natural immunity conferred by antibodies against reinfection, including natural immunity against different variants.

    Retirement from living status

    Although natural immunity remains a topic of scientific interest, this topic is being retired from living status given the availability of effective vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 and widespread recommendations for and prevalence of their use. Currently, vaccination is the best clinical recommendation for preventing infection, reinfection, and serious illness from SARS-CoV-2 and its variants.


  • Qaseem, Amir
  • Yost, Jennifer
  • Etxeandia-Ikobaltzeta, Itziar
  • Forciea, Mary Ann
  • Abraham, George M
  • Miller, Matthew C
  • Obley, Adam J
  • Humphrey, Linda L
  • Akl, Elie A
  • Andrews, Rebecca
  • Dunn, Andrew
  • Haeme, Ray
  • Kansagara, Devan L
  • Tschanz, CDR Mark P
  • Forciea, Mary Ann
  • Miller, Matthew C
  • Obley, Adam J
  • Humphrey, Linda L
  • Centor, Robert M
  • Bledsoe, Thomas A
  • Jokela, Janet A
  • Marcucci, Maura

publication date

  • April 2022