Dynamic changes in anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies during SARS-CoV-2 infection and recovery from COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 27;11(1):6044. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19943-y.


Deciphering the dynamic changes in antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 is essential for understanding the immune response in COVID-19 patients. Here we analyze the laboratory findings of 1,850 patients to describe the dynamic changes of the total antibody, spike protein (S)-, receptor-binding domain (RBD)-, and nucleoprotein (N)-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) and G (IgG) levels during SARS-CoV-2 infection and recovery. The generation of S-, RBD-, and N-specific IgG occurs one week later in patients with severe/critical COVID-19 compared to patients with mild/moderate disease, while S- and RBD-specific IgG levels are 1.5-fold higher in severe/critical patients during hospitalization. The RBD-specific IgG levels are 4-fold higher in older patients than in younger patients during hospitalization. In addition, the S- and RBD-specific IgG levels are 2-fold higher in the recovered patients who are SARS-CoV-2 RNA negative than those who are RNA positive. Lower S-, RBD-, and N-specific IgG levels are associated with a lower lymphocyte percentage, higher neutrophil percentage, and a longer duration of viral shedding. Patients with low antibody levels on discharge might thereby have a high chance of being tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA after recovery. Our study provides important information for COVID-19 diagnosis, treatment, and vaccine development.

PMID:33247152 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-020-19943-y

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