Comparative analysis of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 between asymptomatic and convalescent patients

iScience. 2021 Jun 25;24(6):102489. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.102489. Epub 2021 May 1.


The SARS-CoV-2 viral pandemic has induced a global health crisis, which requires more in-depth investigation into immunological responses to develop effective treatments and vaccines. To understand protective immunity against COVID-19, we screened over 60,000 asymptomatic individuals in the Southeastern United States for IgG antibody positivity against the viral Spike protein, and approximately 3% were positive. Of these 3%, individuals with the highest anti-S or anti-RBD IgG level showed a strong correlation with inhibition of ACE2 binding and cross-reactivity against non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus S-proteins. We also analyzed samples from 94 SARS-CoV-2 patients and compared them with those of asymptomatic individuals. SARS-CoV-2 symptomatic patients had decreased antibody responses, ACE2 binding inhibition, and antibody cross-reactivity. Our study shows that healthy individuals can mount robust immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 without symptoms. Furthermore, IgG antibody responses against S and RBD may correlate with high inhibition of ACE2 binding in individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection or post vaccination.

Keywords: Immunology; Infection control in health technology; Virology.