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Open AccessArticle

Kinetics of Nucleo- and Spike Protein-Specific Immunoglobulin G and of Virus-Neutralizing Antibodies after SARS-CoV-2 Infection

1
Institute for Infection Medicine, Christian-Albrecht University and University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Brunswiker Str. 4, 24105 Kiel, Germany
2
Labor Dr. Krause und Kollegen MVZ GmbH, Steenbeker Weg 23, 24106 Kiel, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors equally contributed to this work.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(10), 1572; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8101572
Received: 9 September 2020 / Revised: 28 September 2020 / Accepted: 9 October 2020 / Published: 13 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Focusing on Epidemiologic, Virologic, and Clinical Studies)
Kinetics of neutralizing antibodies and immunoglobulin G (IgG) against the nucleo (N) or spike (S) proteins of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type2 (SARS-CoV-2) were studied in patients up to 165 days after PCR diagnosis of infection. Two immunoassays were selected out of eight IgG or total antibody tests by comparing their specificities and sensitivities. Sensitivities were calculated with convalescent sera from 26 PCR-confirmed cases, of which 76.9% had neutralizing antibodies (>1:10). Stored sera collected during the summer 2018 (N = 50) and winter seasons 2018/2019 (N = 50) were included to demonstrate the test specificities. IgG kinetics, avidities, and virus-neutralizing capacities were recorded over up to 165 days in eleven patients and five individuals from routine diagnostics. Sensitivities, specificities, and diagnostic accuracies ranged between 80.8–96.3%, 96.0–100%, and 93.7–99.2%, respectively. Nearly all results were confirmed with two different SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoblots. Six (54.4%) patients exhibited stable N-specific IgG indices over 120 days and longer; three of them developed IgG of high avidity. The S-specific IgG response was stable in ten (91.0%) patients, and eight (72.7%) had neutralizing antibodies. However, the titers were relatively low, suggesting that sustained humoral immunity is uncertain, especially after outpatient SARS-CoV-2 infection. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; humoral immunity; test performance; neutralization; follow-up; titer decrease COVID-19; humoral immunity; test performance; neutralization; follow-up; titer decrease
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MDPI and ACS Style

Strömer, A.; Rose, R.; Grobe, O.; Neumann, F.; Fickenscher, H.; Lorentz, T.; Krumbholz, A. Kinetics of Nucleo- and Spike Protein-Specific Immunoglobulin G and of Virus-Neutralizing Antibodies after SARS-CoV-2 Infection. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 1572.

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