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medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.05.07.21256823

ABSTRACT

Assessment of the kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies is essential to predict protection against reinfection and durability of vaccine protection. Here, we longitudinally measured Spike (S) and Nucleocapsid (N)-specific antibodies in 1,309 healthcare workers (HCW) including 393 convalescent COVID-19 and 916 COVID-19 negative HCW up to 405 days. From M1 to M7-9 after infection, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies decreased moderately in convalescent HCW in a biphasic model, with men showing a slower decay of anti-N (p=0.02), and a faster decay of anti-S (p=0.0008) than women. At M11-13, anti-N antibodies dramatically decreased (half-life: 210 days) while anti-S stabilized (half-life: 630 days) at a median of 2.41 log Arbitrary Units (AU)/mL (Interquartile Range (IQR): 2.11 -2.75). One case of reinfection was recorded in convalescent HCW (0.47 per 100 person-years) versus 50 in COVID-19 negative HCW (10.11 per 100 person-years). Correlation with live-virus neutralization assay revealed that variants D614G and B.1.1.7, but not B.1.351, were sensitive to anti-S antibodies at 2.3 log AU/mL, while IgG [≥] 3 log AU/mL neutralized all three variants. After SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, anti-S levels reached 4 logs regardless of pre-vaccination IgG levels, type of vaccine, and number of doses. Our study demonstrates a long-term persistence of anti-S IgG antibodies that may protect against reinfection. By significantly increasing cross-neutralizing antibody titers, a single-dose vaccination strengthens protection against escape mutants.

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