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Open AccessArticle

Persistence of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Non-Hospitalized COVID-19 Convalescent Health Care Workers

1
Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology IRCCS, via Adamello 16, 20139 Milan, Italy
2
Department of Oncology and Hemato-Oncology, University of Milan, via Festa del Perdono 7, 20122 Milan, Italy
3
School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, via Cadore 48, 20900 Monza, Italy
4
The Armenise-Harvard Laboratory of Structural Biology, Department of Biology and Biotechnology “L. Spallanzani”, University of Pavia, via Ferrata 9, 27100 Pavia, Italy
5
Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Policlinico Milano, Via F. Sforza 35, 20135 Milan, Italy
6
Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Via F. Sforza 35, 20135 Milan, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authors have contributed equally.
Authors have contributed equally.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(10), 3188; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9103188
Received: 10 September 2020 / Revised: 24 September 2020 / Accepted: 29 September 2020 / Published: 1 October 2020
Although antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 can be detected early during the infection, several outstanding questions remain to be addressed regarding the magnitude and persistence of antibody titer against different viral proteins and their correlation with the strength of the immune response. An ELISA assay has been developed by expressing and purifying the recombinant SARS-CoV-2 Spike Receptor Binding Domain (RBD), Soluble Ectodomain (Spike), and full length Nucleocapsid protein (N). Sera from healthcare workers affected by non-severe COVID-19 were longitudinally collected over four weeks, and compared to sera from patients hospitalized in Intensive Care Units (ICU) and SARS-CoV-2-negative subjects for the presence of IgM, IgG and IgA antibodies as well as soluble pro-inflammatory mediators in the sera. Non-hospitalized subjects showed lower antibody titers and blood pro-inflammatory cytokine profiles as compared to patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU), irrespective of the antibodies tested. Noteworthy, in non-severe COVID-19 infections, antibody titers against RBD and Spike, but not against the N protein, as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines decreased within a month after viral clearance. Thus, rapid decline in antibody titers and in pro-inflammatory cytokines may be a common feature of non-severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, suggesting that antibody-mediated protection against re-infection with SARS-CoV-2 is of short duration. These results suggest caution in using serological testing to estimate the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; pro-inflammatory mediators COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; pro-inflammatory mediators
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Bruni, M.; Cecatiello, V.; Diaz-Basabe, A.; Lattanzi, G.; Mileti, E.; Monzani, S.; Pirovano, L.; Rizzelli, F.; Visintin, C.; Bonizzi, G.; Giani, M.; Lavitrano, M.; Faravelli, S.; Forneris, F.; Caprioli, F.; Pelicci, P.G.; Natoli, G.; Pasqualato, S.; Mapelli, M.; Facciotti, F. Persistence of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Non-Hospitalized COVID-19 Convalescent Health Care Workers. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 3188.

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