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Cross-Reactive Antibody Against Human Coronavirus OC43 Spike Protein Correlates with Disease Severity in COVID-19 Patients: A Retrospective Study
44 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2020More...
Background: Seasonal human coronaviruses (HCoVs) including HCoV-229E, -OC43, -NL63 and -HKU1 are widely spreading in global human populations. However, the relevance of humoral response against seasonal HCoVs to COVID-19 pathogenesis is elusive.
Methods: We profiled the temporal changes of IgG antibodies against spike (S; S-IgG) proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal HCoVs in 838 plasma samples collected from 344 COVID-19 patients. We tested the antigenic cross-reactivity of S protein between SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal HCoVs and evaluated the correlations between HCoV-OC43 S-IgG antibody and disease severity in COVID-19 patients.
Findings: SARS-CoV-2 S-IgG titers mounted until days 22–28, whereas HCoV-OC43 antibody titers increased until days 15–21 and then plateaued until day 46. However, IgG antibody titers against HCoV-NL63, -229E, and -HKU1 showed no significant increasing. A two-way cross-reactivity was identified between SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-OC43. Neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were not detected in healthy controls who were positive for HCoV-OC43 S-IgG. HCoV-OC43 S-IgG titers were significantly higher in patients with severe disease than those in mild/moderate patients at days 1–21 post symptom onset (PSO). Higher levels of HCoV-OC43 S-IgG were also observed in patients requiring mechanical ventilation and the elderly. At days 1–10 PSO, HCoV-OC43 S-IgG titers correlated to disease severity in all age groups, and to fatality in over 60-year group.
Interpretation: Our data indicate that there exist a humoral cross-reactive response between HCoV-OC43 and SARS-CoV-2. The cross-reactive HCoV-OC43 S-IgG antibody is not protective against SARS-CoV-2, but may be a risk factor for the severity and adverse outcome of COVID-19.
Funding Statement: This study was funded in part by the National Major Science & Technology Project for Control and Prevention of Major Infectious Diseases in China (2017ZX10204401, 2018ZX10734404), Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences (2016-I2M-1–014, 2018-I2M-1-003, 2020-I2M-1-001, 2020-I2M-CoV19-005), Natural Science Foundation of China (82041011/H0104), and National Key R&D Program of China (2020YFA0707600).
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.
Ethics Approval Statement: This study was approved by the Ethical Review Board of Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital, Infectious Disease Hospital of Heilongjiang Province (Harbin), and Institute of Pathogen Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. Written informed consent was obtained from each healthy volunteer and COVID-19 patients in cohort 4. Written informed consents from the remaining patients were waived in light of the emerging infectious disease of high public health relevance.
Keywords: cross-reactivity, antibody, antibody, HCoV-OC43, SARS-CoV-2, disease severity
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