Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Mild SARS-CoV-2 Illness Is Not Associated with Reinfections and Provides Persistent Spike, Nucleocapsid, and Virus-Neutralizing Antibodies.

Abstract Source:

Microbiol Spectr. 2021 Sep 1:e0008721. Epub 2021 Sep 1. PMID: 34468184

Abstract Author(s):

Charles F Schuler, Carmen Gherasim, Kelly O'Shea, David M Manthei, Jesse Chen, Cristyn Zettel, Jonathan P Troost, Andrew A Kennedy, Andrew W Tai, Donald A Giacherio, Riccardo Valdez, James L Baldwin, James R Baker

Article Affiliation:

Charles F Schuler


Uncertainty exists whether mild COVID-19 confers immunity to reinfection. Questions also remain regarding the persistence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 after mild infection. We prospectively followed at-risk individuals with and without SARS-CoV-2 for reinfection and monitored the spike and nucleocapsid antibodies. This prospective cohort study was conducted over two visits, 3 to 6 months apart, between May 2020 and February 2021. Adults with and without COVID-19, verified by FDA EUA-approved SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assays, were screened for spike and nucleocapsid antibody responses using FDA EUA-approved immunoassays and for pseudoviral neutralization activity. The subjects weremonitored for symptoms, exposure to COVID-19, COVID-19 testing, seroconversion, reinfection, and vaccination. A total of 653 subjects enrolled; 129 (20%) had a history of COVID-19 verified by RT-PCR at enrollment. Most had mild disease, with only three requiring hospitalization. No initially seropositive subjects experienced a subsequent COVID-19 infection during the follow-up versus 15 infections among initially seronegative subjects (infection rates of 0.00 versus 2.05 per 10,000 days at risk [ = 0.0485]). In all, 90% of SARS-CoV-2-positive subjects produced spike and nucleocapsid responses, and all but one of these had persistent antibody levels at follow-up. Pseudoviral neutralization activity was widespread among participants, did not decrease over time, and correlated with clinical antibody assays. Reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 was not observed among individuals with mild clinical COVID-19, while infections continued in a group without known prior infection. Spike and nucleocapsid COVID-19 antibodies were associated with almost all infections and persisted at stable levels forthe study duration.This article demonstrates that people who have mild COVID-19 illnesses and produce antibodies are protected from reinfection for up to 6 months afterward. The antibodies that people produce in this situation are stable for up to 6 months as well. Clinical antibody assays correlate well with evidence of antibody-related viral neutralization activity.

Study Type : Human Study

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Sayer Ji
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