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Article

Severe Fatigue and Memory Impairment Are Associated with Lower Serum Level of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Patients with Post-COVID Symptoms

1
Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, University of Pecs, Medical School, H7632 Pecs, Hungary
2
Department of Primary Health Care, University of Pecs, Medical School, H7632 Pecs, Hungary
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Department of Neurology, University of Pecs, Medical School, H7632 Pecs, Hungary
4
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Salisbury SP2 8BJ, UK
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1st Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectology, University of Pecs, Medical School, H7632 Pecs, Hungary
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Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Pecs, Medical School, H7632 Pecs, Hungary
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Department of Neurology, Odense University Hospital, University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense, Denmark
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Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pecs, Medical School, H7632 Pecs, Hungary
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vito Racanelli
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(19), 4337; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10194337
Received: 9 August 2021 / Revised: 17 September 2021 / Accepted: 21 September 2021 / Published: 23 September 2021
Background: Post-COVID manifestation is defined as persistent symptoms or long-term complications beyond 4 weeks from disease onset. Fatigue and memory impairment are common post-COVID symptoms. We aimed to explore associations between the timeline and severity of post-COVID fatigue and anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Methods: Fatigue and memory impairment were assessed in a total of 101 post-COVID subjects using the Chalder fatigue scale (CFQ-11) and a visual analogue scale. Using the bimodal scoring system generated from CFQ-11, a score ≥4 was defined as severe fatigue. Serum anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike (anti-S-Ig) and nucleocapsid (anti-NC-Ig) antibodies were examined at two time points: 4–12 weeks after onset of symptoms, and beyond 12 weeks. Results: The serum level of anti-S-Ig was significantly higher in patients with non-severe fatigue compared to those with severe fatigue at 4–12 weeks (p = 0.006) and beyond 12 weeks (p = 0.016). The serum level of anti-NC-Ig remained high in patients with non-severe fatigue at both time points. In contrast, anti-NC-Ig decreased significantly in severe fatigue cases regardless of the elapsed time (4–12 weeks: p = 0.024; beyond 12 weeks: p = 0.005). The incidence of memory impairment was significantly correlated with lower anti-S-Ig levels (−0.359, p < 0.001). Conclusion: The systemic immune response reflected by antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 is strongly correlated with the severity of post-COVID fatigue. View Full-Text
Keywords: post-COVID fatigue; anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike Ig; anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid Ig; memory impairment post-COVID fatigue; anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike Ig; anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid Ig; memory impairment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Molnar, T.; Varnai, R.; Schranz, D.; Zavori, L.; Peterfi, Z.; Sipos, D.; Tőkés-Füzesi, M.; Illes, Z.; Buki, A.; Csecsei, P. Severe Fatigue and Memory Impairment Are Associated with Lower Serum Level of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Patients with Post-COVID Symptoms. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 4337. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10194337

AMA Style

Molnar T, Varnai R, Schranz D, Zavori L, Peterfi Z, Sipos D, Tőkés-Füzesi M, Illes Z, Buki A, Csecsei P. Severe Fatigue and Memory Impairment Are Associated with Lower Serum Level of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Patients with Post-COVID Symptoms. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10(19):4337. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10194337

Chicago/Turabian Style

Molnar, Tihamer, Reka Varnai, Daniel Schranz, Laszlo Zavori, Zoltan Peterfi, David Sipos, Margit Tőkés-Füzesi, Zsolt Illes, Andras Buki, and Peter Csecsei. 2021. "Severe Fatigue and Memory Impairment Are Associated with Lower Serum Level of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Patients with Post-COVID Symptoms" Journal of Clinical Medicine 10, no. 19: 4337. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10194337

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