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Neutralisation titres against SARS-CoV-2 are sustained 6 months after onset of symptoms in individuals with mild COVID-19

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BACKGROUND: Given the importance of neutralising antibodies in protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, it is critical to assess neutralisation persistence long-term following recovery. This study investigated neutralisation titres against SARS-CoV-2 up to 6 months post-symptom onset in individuals with mild COVID-19.

METHODS: Plasma neutralisation titres in convalescent COVID-19 individuals were determined at baseline and 6 months post-symptom onset using a cell culture infectious SARS-CoV-2 assay. Total SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific IgG and IgA binding was measured using a lectin capture ELISA and compared between timepoints and correlated to neutralising titres.

FINDINGS: All 48 convalescent COVID-19 individuals were found to have detectable SARS-CoV-2 50% inhibitory dilution neutralisation titres (ID50) at baseline and 6 months post-symptom onset with mean ID50 of 1/943 and 1/411, respectively. SARS-CoV-2 neutralisation titres peaked within 1-2 months post-symptom onset. However, 50% of individuals showed comparable ID50 at baseline and 6 months post-symptom onset. Both SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific IgG and IgA levels correlated well with neutralising titres. IgG binding was found to be sustained up to 6 months post-symptom onset, whereas IgA levels declined.

INTERPRETATION: This study demonstrates durability of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific IgG and neutralisation responses following recovery from mild COVID-19. Thus, all subjects included in this study might potentially have protective levels of neutralising antibodies 6 months post-symptom onset. This study also demonstrates a relationship between spike-specific IgA and neutralisation decline, with implications for long-term protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

FUNDING: Novo Nordisk Foundation, Independent Research Fund Denmark and Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103519
JournalEBioMedicine
Volume71
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

    Research areas

  • COVID-19, IgA, IgG, neutralisation, neutralising antibodies, SARS-CoV-2

ID: 67247151