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Papers of the Week

2021 Jan 06


Fever, Diarrhea, and Severe Disease Correlate with High Persistent Antibody Levels against SARS-CoV-2.


Amjadi MF, O'Connell SE, Armbrust T, Mergaert AM, Narpala SR, Halfmann PJ, Bashar JS, Glover CR, Heffron AS, Taylor A, Flach B, O'Connor DH, Kawaoka Y, McDermott AB, Sethi AK, Shelef MA
medRxiv. 2021 Jan 06.
PMID: 33442707.


Lasting immunity will be critical for overcoming the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, factors that drive the development of high titers of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and how long those antibodies persist remain unclear. Our objective was to comprehensively evaluate anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in a clinically diverse COVID-19 convalescent cohort at defined time points to determine if anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies persist and to identify clinical and demographic factors that correlate with high titers. Using a novel multiplex assay to quantify IgG against four SARS-CoV-2 antigens, a receptor binding domain-angiotensin converting enzyme 2 inhibition assay, and a SARS-CoV-2 neutralization assay, we found that 98% of COVID-19 convalescent subjects had anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies five weeks after symptom resolution (n=113). Further, antibody levels did not decline three months after symptom resolution (n=79). As expected, greater disease severity, older age, male sex, obesity, and higher Charlson Comorbidity Index score correlated with increased anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels. We demonstrated for the first time that COVID-19 symptoms, namely fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea and low appetite, correlated consistently with higher anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels. Our results provide new insights into the development and persistence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.