Delayed neutralizing antibody response in the acute phase correlates with severe progression of COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

Sci Rep. 2021 Aug 16;11(1):16535. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-96143-8.


Adaptive immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) dynamics remain largely unknown. The neutralizing antibody (NAb) levels in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are helpful for understanding the pathology. Using SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped virus, serum sample neutralization values in symptomatic COVID-19 patients were measured using the chemiluminescence reduction neutralization test (CRNT). At least two sequential serum samples collected during hospitalization were analyzed to assess NAbs neutralizing activity dynamics at different time points. Of the 11 patients, four (36.4%), six (54.5%), and one (9.1%) had moderate, severe, and critical disease, respectively. Fifty percent neutralization (N50%-CRNT) was observed upon admission in 90.9% (10/11); all patients acquired neutralizing activity 2-12 days after onset. In patients with moderate disease, neutralization was observed at earliest within two days after symptom onset. In patients with severe-to-critical disease, neutralization activity increased, plateauing 9-16 days after onset. Neutralization activity on admission was significantly higher in patients with moderate disease than in patients with severe-to-critical disease (relative % of infectivity, 6.4% vs. 41.1%; P = .011). Neutralization activity on admission inversely correlated with disease severity. The rapid NAb response may play a crucial role in preventing the progression of COVID-19.

PMID:34400739 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-021-96143-8

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