A 63-Year-Old Woman with a History of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma with Persistent SARS-CoV-2 Infection Who Was Seronegative and Treated with Convalescent Plasma

Am J Case Rep. 2020 Oct 3;21:e927812. doi: 10.12659/AJCR.927812.


BACKGROUND This is a case report of an immunocompromised patient with a history of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and persistent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection who was seronegative and successfully treated with convalescent plasma. CASE REPORT A 63-year-old woman with a past medical history of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in remission while on maintenance therapy with the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, obinutuzumab, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 via nasopharyngeal reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing over 12 weeks and persistently tested seronegative for immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies using SARS-CoV-2 IgG chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay technology. During this time, the patient experienced waxing and waning of symptoms, which included fever, myalgia, and non-productive cough, but never acquired severe respiratory distress. She was admitted to our hospital on illness day 88, and her symptoms resolved after the administration of convalescent plasma. CONCLUSIONS As the understanding of the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve, we can currently only speculate about the occurrence of chronic infection vs. reinfection. The protective role of antibodies and their longevity against SARS-CoV-2 remain unclear. Since humoral immunity has an integral role in SARS-CoV-2 infection, various phase 3 vaccine trials are underway. In the context of this pandemic, the present case demonstrates the challenges in our understanding of testing and treating immunocompromised patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / administration & dosage
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques / methods
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive / methods
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / complications
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / immunology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Serologic Tests / methods
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
  • obinutuzumab

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 serotherapy