Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

December 23, 2020

Antibody Responses 8 Months after Asymptomatic or Mild SARS-CoV-2 Infection



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Choe et al. used four commercial immunoassays to measure SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from seven participants with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and 51 patients with mildly symptomatic infections eight months after they tested positive by rt-PCR. For three of the four immunoassays used, seropositivity rates were high (69% to 91%). Antibody positivity differed significantly between the immunoassay methods, suggesting a possible explanation for previous studies’ findings of waning humoral immunity in survivors of asymptomatic or mild COVID-19.

Prolonged virus shedding was found to be associated with long-term antibody positivity, and factors associated with prolonged virus shedding include male sex, old age, severe illness at admission, and experiencing invasive mechanical ventilation. The authors suggest that the duration of virus shedding reflects the amount of humoral immune stimulation, even among people with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases.

Choe et al. (Mar 2021). Antibody Responses 8 Months after Asymptomatic or Mild SARS-CoV-2 Infection. Emerging Infectious Diseases.