“If he had tested positive then we would know for sure that he has his own antibodies,” said Dr. Dan Barouch, a virologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
“As it was negative for antibodies, it is less likely but not excluded,” he added. “He could have been in the early stages of producing his own antibodies.” (Dr Barouch is an investigator for Regeneron’s trial of the cocktail to prevent coronavirus infections.)
On October 2, Mr. Trump was given eight grams of a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies made by Regeneron. These antibodies are infused into people – like those of Mr. Trump’s age, sex, and weight – who may have trouble producing their own immune response.
A test on Oct. 5 confirmed the presence of the antibodies, according to Dr Conley.
But Dr Barouch noted that “the antibodies detected in the blood are not his antibodies. These are antibodies that were administered. These antibodies will decrease over time. “
The monoclonal antibodies may have quickly suppressed the level of virus in Mr. Trump’s body. While this may have protected the president from serious symptoms, it may also have prevented his immune system from making its own antibodies.
“If you get the antibodies early and prevent or treat infections quickly,” said Dr Barouch, “then you will probably actually be inhibiting your own body’s generation of antibodies.
Mr. Trump was also treated with dexamethasone, a steroid known to suppress the immune system. And he received it much earlier in his illness than usual.