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Brief Report

Prevalence of Neutralising Antibodies to HCoV-NL63 in Healthy Adults in Australia

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia
WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059, Australia
Laboratory of Experimental Virology, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Prevention, Amsterdam Institute for Infection & Immunity, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, VIC 3050, Australia
Centre for Immunology and Infection Control, School of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, South Brisbane, QLD 4007, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Luis Martinez-Sobrido and Fernando Almazan Toral
Viruses 2021, 13(8), 1618;
Received: 20 July 2021 / Revised: 11 August 2021 / Accepted: 13 August 2021 / Published: 16 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Coronaviruses)
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of understanding the immune response to seasonal human coronavirus (HCoV) infections such as HCoV-NL63, how existing neutralising antibodies to HCoV may modulate responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the utility of seasonal HCoV as human challenge models. Therefore, in this study we quantified HCoV-NL63 neutralising antibody titres in a healthy adult population using plasma from 100 blood donors in Australia. A microneutralisation assay was performed with plasma diluted from 1:10 to 1:160 and tested with the HCoV-NL63 Amsterdam-1 strain. Neutralising antibodies were detected in 71% of the plasma samples, with a median geometric mean titre of 14. This titre was similar to those reported in convalescent sera taken from individuals 3–7 months following asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, and 2–3 years post-infection from symptomatic SARS-CoV-1 patients. HCoV-NL63 neutralising antibody titres decreased with increasing age (R2 = 0.042, p = 0.038), but did not differ by sex. Overall, this study demonstrates that neutralising antibody to HCoV-NL63 is detectable in approximately 71% of the healthy adult population of Australia. Similar titres did not impede the use of another seasonal human coronavirus (HCoV-229E) in a human challenge model, thus, HCoV-NL63 may be useful as a human challenge model for more pathogenic coronaviruses. View Full-Text
Keywords: HCoV-NL63; neutralising antibody titre; healthy adults HCoV-NL63; neutralising antibody titre; healthy adults
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lynch, S.A.; Subbarao, K.; Mahanty, S.; Barber, B.E.; Roulis, E.V.; van der Hoek, L.; McCarthy, J.S.; Spann, K.M. Prevalence of Neutralising Antibodies to HCoV-NL63 in Healthy Adults in Australia. Viruses 2021, 13, 1618.

AMA Style

Lynch SA, Subbarao K, Mahanty S, Barber BE, Roulis EV, van der Hoek L, McCarthy JS, Spann KM. Prevalence of Neutralising Antibodies to HCoV-NL63 in Healthy Adults in Australia. Viruses. 2021; 13(8):1618.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lynch, Sean A., Kanta Subbarao, Siddhartha Mahanty, Bridget E. Barber, Eileen V. Roulis, Lia van der Hoek, James S. McCarthy, and Kirsten M. Spann. 2021. "Prevalence of Neutralising Antibodies to HCoV-NL63 in Healthy Adults in Australia" Viruses 13, no. 8: 1618.

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