BACKGROUND SARS-CoV-2–specific antibodies may protect from reinfection and disease, providing rationale for administration of plasma containing SARS-CoV-2–neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) as a treatment for COVID-19. Clinical factors and laboratory assays to streamline plasma donor selection, and the durability of nAb responses, are incompletely understood.METHODS Potential convalescent plasma donors with virologically documented SARS-CoV-2 infection were tested for serum IgG against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 domain and against nucleoprotein (NP), and for nAb.RESULTS Among 250 consecutive persons, including 27 (11%) requiring hospitalization, who were studied a median of 67 days since symptom onset, 97% were seropositive on 1 or more assays. Sixty percent of donors had nAb titers ≥1:80. Correlates of higher nAb titers included older age (adjusted OR [AOR] 1.03 per year of age, 95% CI 1.00–1.06), male sex (AOR 2.08, 95% CI 1.13–3.82), fever during illness (AOR 2.73, 95% CI 1.25–5.97), and disease severity represented by hospitalization (AOR 6.59, 95% CI 1.32–32.96). Receiver operating characteristic analyses of anti-S1 and anti-NP antibody results yielded cutoffs that corresponded well with nAb titers, with the anti-S1 assay being slightly more predictive. nAb titers declined in 37 of 41 paired specimens collected a median of 98 days (range 77–120) apart (P < 0.001). Seven individuals (2.8%) were persistently seronegative and lacked T cell responses.CONCLUSION nAb titers correlated with COVID-19 severity, age, and sex. SARS-CoV-2 IgG results can serve as useful surrogates for nAb testing. Functional nAb levels declined, and a small proportion of convalescent individuals lacked adaptive immune responses.FUNDING The project was supported by the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research with support from the NIAID under contract number 75N91019D00024, and was supported by the Fred Hutchinson Joel Meyers Endowment, Fast-Grants, a New Investigator award from the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, and NIH contracts 75N93019C0063, 75N91019D00024, and HHSN272201800013C, and NIH grants T32-AI118690, T32-AI007044, K08-AI119142, and K23-AI140918.
Jim Boonyaratanakornkit, Chihiro Morishima, Stacy Selke, Danniel Zamora, Sarah McGuffin, Adrienne E. Shapiro, Victoria L. Campbell, Christopher L. McClurkan, Lichen Jing, Robin Gross, Janie Liang, Elena Postnikova, Steven Mazur, Vladimir V. Lukin, Anu Chaudhary, Marie K. Das, Susan L. Fink, Andrew Bryan, Alex L. Greninger, Keith R. Jerome, Michael R. Holbrook, Terry B. Gernsheimer, Mark H. Wener, Anna Wald, David M. Koelle