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Vaccine ; 40(15): 2251-2257, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730146


BACKGROUND: With COVID-19 vaccine roll-out ongoing in many countries globally, monitoring of breakthrough infections is of great importance. Antibodies persist in the blood after a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Since COVID-19 vaccines induce immune response to the Spike protein of the virus, which is the main serosurveillance target to date, alternative targets should be explored to distinguish infection from vaccination. METHODS: Multiplex immunoassay data from 1,513 SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR-tested individuals (352 positive and 1,161 negative) without COVID-19 vaccination history were used to determine the accuracy of Nucleoprotein-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) in detecting past SARS-CoV-2 infection. We also described Spike S1 and Nucleoprotein-specific IgG responses in 230 COVID-19 vaccinated individuals (Pfizer/BioNTech). RESULTS: The sensitivity of Nucleoprotein seropositivity was 85% (95% confidence interval: 80-90%) for mild COVID-19 in the first two months following symptom onset. Sensitivity was lower in asymptomatic individuals (67%, 50-81%). Participants who had experienced a SARS-CoV-2 infection up to 11 months preceding vaccination, as assessed by Spike S1 seropositivity or RT-qPCR, produced 2.7-fold higher median levels of IgG to Spike S1 ≥ 14 days after the first dose as compared to those unexposed to SARS-CoV-2 at ≥ 7 days after the second dose (p = 0.011). Nucleoprotein-specific IgG concentrations were not affected by vaccination in infection-naïve participants. CONCLUSIONS: Serological responses to Nucleoprotein may prove helpful in identifying SARS-CoV-2 infections after vaccination. Furthermore, it can help interpret IgG to Spike S1 after COVID-19 vaccination as particularly high responses shortly after vaccination could be explained by prior exposure history.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Nucleoproteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(12): 2155-2162, 2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592795


BACKGROUND: Assessing the duration of immunity following infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a first priority to gauge the degree of protection following infection. Such knowledge is lacking, especially in the general population. Here, we studied changes in immunoglobulin isotype seropositivity and immunoglobulin G (IgG) binding strength of SARS-CoV-2-specific serum antibodies up to 7 months following onset of symptoms in a nationwide sample. METHODS: Participants from a prospective representative serological study in the Netherlands were included based on IgG seroconversion to the spike S1 protein of SARS-CoV-2 (N = 353), with up to 3 consecutive serum samples per seroconverted participant (N = 738). Immunoglobulin M (IgM), immunoglobulin A (IgA), and IgG antibody concentrations to S1, and increase in IgG avidity in relation to time since onset of disease symptoms, were determined. RESULTS: While SARS-CoV-2-specific IgM and IgA antibodies declined rapidly after the first month after disease onset, specific IgG was still present in 92% (95% confidence interval [CI], 89%-95%) of the participants after 7 months. The estimated 2-fold decrease of IgG antibodies was 158 days (95% CI, 136-189 days). Concentrations were sustained better in persons reporting significant symptoms compared to asymptomatic persons or those with mild upper respiratory complaints only. Similarly, avidity of IgG antibodies for symptomatic persons showed a steeper increase over time compared with persons with mild or no symptoms (P = .022). CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibodies persist and show increasing avidity over time, indicative of underlying immune maturation. These data support development of immune memory against SARS-CoV-2, providing insight into protection of the general unvaccinated part of the population. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION: NL8473 (the Dutch trial registry).

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Netherlands/epidemiology , Prospective Studies