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ssrn; 2020.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-SSRN | ID: ppzbmed-10.2139.ssrn.3739808


Background: Antibodies to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been shown to neutralize the virus in-vitro and prevent disease in animal challenge models upon re-exposure. However, current understanding of SARS-CoV-2 humoral dynamics and longevity is conflicting.Methods: The Co-Stars study prospectively enrolled 3679 healthcare workers to comprehensively characterize the kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 spike (S), receptor-binding-domain (RBD) and nucleoprotein (N) antibodies in parallel. Participants screening seropositive had serial monthly serological testing for maximum 7 months with the Mesoscale Discovery Assay. Survival analysis determined the proportion of sero-reversion while two hierarchical Gamma models predicted the upper- and lower-bounds of long-term antibody trajectory.Results: A total of 1163 monthly samples were provided from 349 seropositive participants. At 200 days post-symptoms, 99% of participants had detectable S-antibodies compared to 75% with detectable N-antibodies. S-antibody was predicted to remain detectable in 95% of participants until 465 days [95%CI 370-575] using a ‘continuous-decay’ model and indefinitely using a ‘decay-to-plateau’ model to account for antibody secretion by long-lived plasma cells. S-antibody titers correlated strongly with surrogate neutralization in-vitro (R2=0.72). N-antibodies, however, decayed rapidly with a half-life of 60 days [95%CI 52-68].Conclusions: The Co-STAR's study data presented here provides evidence for long-term persistence of neutralizing S-antibodies. This has important implications for the duration of functional immunity following SARS-CoV-2 infection. In contrast, the rapid decay of N-antibodies must be considered in future seroprevalence studies and public health decision-making. This is the first study to establish a mathematical framework capable of predicting long-term humoral dynamics following SARS-CoV-2 infection.Trial Registration: NCT04380896.Funding Statement: GOSH charity, Wellcome Trust (201470/Z/16/Z and 220565/Z/20/Z). GOSH NIHR Funded Biomedical Research Centre.Declaration of Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.Ethics Approval Statement: This study was approved by the UK Health Research Authority ( Written informed consent was obtained from all participants before recruitment to the study.

COVID-19 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome