J Intern Med. 2021 Oct 5. doi: 10.1111/joim.13386. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibodies prevent viral replication. Critically ill COVID-19 patients show viral material in plasma, associated with a dysregulated host response. If these antibodies influence survival and viral dissemination in ICU-COVID patients is unknown.
PATIENTS/METHODS: We studied the impact of anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibodies levels on survival, viral RNA-load in plasma, and N-antigenaemia in 92 COVID-19 patients over ICU admission.
RESULTS: Frequency of N-antigenaemia was >2.5-fold higher in absence of antibodies. Antibodies correlated inversely with viral RNA-load in plasma, representing a protective factor against mortality (Adjusted HR [CI 95%], p): (S IgM [AUC ≥ 60]: 0.44 [0.22; 0.88], 0.020); (S IgG [AUC ≥ 237]: 0.31 [0.16; 0.61], <0.001). Viral RNA-load in plasma and N-antigenaemia predicted increased mortality: (N1-viral load [≥ 2.156 copies/ml]: 2.25 [1.16; 4.36], 0.016); (N-antigenaemia: 2.45 [1.27; 4.69], 0.007).
CONCLUSIONS: Low anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibody levels predict mortality in critical COVID-19. Our findings support that these antibodies contribute to prevent systemic dissemination of SARS-CoV-2.