Cross-protective antibodies from dengue and Zika last far longer than previously thought, scientists have found in a study involving more than 4,000 children in Nicaragua, reports Medical Xpress. The 11-year longitudinal analysis unexpectedly revealed that antibodies from either dengue or Zika – which naturally protect against infections caused by either virus – remain stable for years and do not precipitously wane. Solving scientific mysteries about old foes such as dengue, and an emerging infection as with Zika, helps lay the scientific groundwork for better responding to future outbreaks. The team observed cross-protective antibodies that were stable in children who were infected with Zika virus, but the amount of cross-protective antibodies differed across children. This suggests that the quantity of antibodies determines the degree of protection.