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Citation: Yang Zheng, Qing Zhang, Ashaq Ali, Ke Li, Nan Shao, Xiaoli Zhou, Zhiqin Ye, Xiaomin Chen, Shanshan Cao, Jing Cui, Juan Zhou, Dianbing Wang, Baidong Hou, Min Li, Mengmeng Cui, Lihua Deng, Xinyi Sun, Qian Zhang, Qinfang Yang, Yong li, Hui Wang, Yake Lei, Bo Yu, Yegang Cheng, Xiaolin Tong, Dong Men, Xian-En Zhang. Sustainability of SARS-CoV-2 Induced Humoral Immune Responses in COVID-19 Patients from Hospitalization to Convalescence Over Six Months [J].VIROLOGICA SINICA.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12250-021-00360-4

Sustainability of SARS-CoV-2 Induced Humoral Immune Responses in COVID-19 Patients from Hospitalization to Convalescence Over Six Months

  • Understanding the persistence of antibody in convalescent COVID-19 patients may help to answer the current major concerns such as the risk of reinfection, the protection period of vaccination and the possibility of building an active herd immunity. This retrospective cohort study included 172 COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized in Wuhan. A total of 404 serum samples were obtained over six months from hospitalization to convalescence. Antibodies in the specimens were quantitatively analyzed by the capture chemiluminescence immunoassays (CLIA). All patients were positive for the anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgG at the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, and the IgG antibody persisted in all the patients during the convalescence. However, only approximately 25% of patients can detect the IgM antibodies, IgM against N protein (N-IgM) and receptor binding domain of S protein (RBD-IgM) at the 27th week. The titers of IgM, N-IgM and RBD-IgM reduced to 16.7%, 17.6% and 15.2% of their peak values respectively. In contrast, the titers of IgG, N-IgG and RBD-IgG peaked at 4–5th week and reduced to 85.9%, 62.6% and 87.2% of their peak values respectively at the end of observation. Dynamic behavior of antibodies and their correlation in age, gender and severity groups were investigated. In general, the COVID-19 antibody was sustained at high levels for over six months in most of the convalescent patients. Only a few patients with antibody reducing to an undetectable level which needs further attention. The humoral immune response against SARS-CoV-2 infection in COVID-19 patients exhibits a typical dynamic of acquired immunity.

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    Sustainability of SARS-CoV-2 Induced Humoral Immune Responses in COVID-19 Patients from Hospitalization to Convalescence Over Six Months

      Corresponding author: Yegang Cheng, chengyegang@hbhtcm.com
      Corresponding author: Xiaolin Tong, tongxiaolin@vip.163.com
      Corresponding author: Dong Men, d.men@wh.iov.cn
      Corresponding author: Xian-En Zhang, zhangxe@ibp.ac.cn
    • 1 National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, CAS Center for Excellence in Biomacromolecules, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    • 2 Hubei Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wuhan 430074, China;
    • 3 State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China;
    • 4 Guang'an Men Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100053, China;
    • 5 Health Bureau of Wuchang District, Wuhan 430070, China;
    • 6 Hubei University, Wuhan 430074, China;
    • 7 Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co., Ltd, Shenzhen 518057, China;
    • 8 Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control & Prevention, Wuhan 430079, China;
    • 9 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

    Abstract: Understanding the persistence of antibody in convalescent COVID-19 patients may help to answer the current major concerns such as the risk of reinfection, the protection period of vaccination and the possibility of building an active herd immunity. This retrospective cohort study included 172 COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized in Wuhan. A total of 404 serum samples were obtained over six months from hospitalization to convalescence. Antibodies in the specimens were quantitatively analyzed by the capture chemiluminescence immunoassays (CLIA). All patients were positive for the anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgG at the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, and the IgG antibody persisted in all the patients during the convalescence. However, only approximately 25% of patients can detect the IgM antibodies, IgM against N protein (N-IgM) and receptor binding domain of S protein (RBD-IgM) at the 27th week. The titers of IgM, N-IgM and RBD-IgM reduced to 16.7%, 17.6% and 15.2% of their peak values respectively. In contrast, the titers of IgG, N-IgG and RBD-IgG peaked at 4–5th week and reduced to 85.9%, 62.6% and 87.2% of their peak values respectively at the end of observation. Dynamic behavior of antibodies and their correlation in age, gender and severity groups were investigated. In general, the COVID-19 antibody was sustained at high levels for over six months in most of the convalescent patients. Only a few patients with antibody reducing to an undetectable level which needs further attention. The humoral immune response against SARS-CoV-2 infection in COVID-19 patients exhibits a typical dynamic of acquired immunity.

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