Plasmodium infection induces cross-reactive antibodies to carbohydrate epitopes on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein

medRxiv. 2021 May 12;2021.05.10.21256855. doi: 10.1101/2021.05.10.21256855. Preprint


Individuals with acute malaria infection generated high levels of antibodies that cross-react with the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. Cross-reactive antibodies specifically recognized the sialic acid moiety on N-linked glycans of the Spike protein and do not neutralize in vitro SARS-CoV-2. Sero-surveillance is critical for monitoring and projecting disease burden and risk during the pandemic; however, routine use of Spike protein-based assays may overestimate SARS-CoV-2 exposure and population-level immunity in malaria-endemic countries.

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  • Preprint