The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become the worst public health crisis in a century. However, knowledge about the dynamics of antibody responses in patients with COVID-19 is still poorly understood. In this study, we performed a serological study with serum specimens collected at the acute and the convalescent phases from 104 patients with severe COVID-19 who were part of the first wave of COVID-19 cases in Wuhan, China. Our findings revealed that neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are persistent for at least 6 months in patients with severe COVID-19, despite that IgG levels against the receptor binding domain (RBD) and nucleocapsid protein (N) IgG declined from the acute to the convalescent phase. Moreover, we demonstrate that the level of RBD-IgG is capable of correlating with SARS-CoV-2–neutralizing activities in COVID-19 serum. In summary, our findings identify the magnitude, functionality, and longevity of antibody responses in patients with COVID-19, which sheds light on the humoral immune response to COVID-19 and would be beneficial for developing vaccines.
Yang Han, Peipei Liu, Yang Qiu, Jie Zhou, Ying Liu, Xujuan Hu, Qingyu Yang, Rui Huang, Xinyue Wen, Hao Song, Pengcheng Yu, Mengjie Yang, Jing Zhang, William J. Liu, Ke Peng, Guizhen Wu, Dingyu Zhang, Xi Zhou, Ying Wu