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Neutralizing Antibodies Response to COVID-19 Predict Outcomes, Study Reveals

A recent study has revealed that the presence of neutralizing antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 protein appears to predict the outcomes of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Photo: Neutralizing Antibodies Response to COVID-19 | InStyleHealth

The researchers said that their results suggest compromised immune responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike to be a major trait of COVID-19 patients with critical conditions, and thereby inform on the planning of COVID-19 patient care and therapy prioritization.

The study enrolled 162 symptomatic COVID-19 patients with median age of 63 years old, where 66.7% were male patients, with a follow-up period of 8 months from symptom onset. A lentiviral-based SAR-CoV-2 neutralization assay was utilized to measure the neutralizing antibody (nAb) response, which found a highly heterogeneous early nAb response.

For the samples collected within the first week, 43.2% displayed such a response, which increased to 78.9% among samples collected within the second week from symptom onset. In contrary, 28.7% of patients had no detectable neutralizing antibodies or nAbs.

Neutralizing antibody response continued to increase, at the 42-day visit, in most patients by day 99, nAbs had plummeted, such that complete loss was recorded in 3 patients. There were only 46 patients attended visits at or beyond 6 months, however, in all cases, nAb titres were even more eliminated, suggesting decay over time.

Experts also discovered that nAb response and kinetics associated with disease course. The early development of nAbs, for example, was significantly associated with a quicker virus clearance, as expressed by a quicker time to a negative swab. Alternatively, the lack of an early nAb response appeared as a strong predictor of death or mortality.


Source: Nat Commun 2021;12:2670

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