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Robust Antibody and T Cell Responses in COVID-19 Patients Six Months After Infection

44 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2020 Publication Status: Under Review

See all articles by Mai-Juan Ma

Mai-Juan Ma

Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology - State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity

Lin Yao

Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology - State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity

Fei-Hu Yan

Academy of Military Sciences - Institute of Military Veterinary Medicine

Xiao-Lin Jiang

Shandong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Bing Lu

Wuxi Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Li-Ling Chen

Suzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Guo-Lin Wang

Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology - State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity

Meng-Na Wu

Zhejiang Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Li-Jun Duan

Academy of Military Sciences - Institute of Military Veterinary Medicine

Bing-Dong Zhan

Quzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Jun-Fen Lin

Quzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Chao Shi

Wuxi Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Yu-Meng Gao

Wuxi Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Fang Liu

Suzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Jian-Ping Zhan

Suzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Peng-Wei Cui

Suzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Yang Wang

Suzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Yan Li

Shandong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Yu-Wen Zhang

Shandong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Lu-Yi Tian

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Yu-Wei Gao

Academy of Military Sciences - Institute of Military Veterinary Medicine

Wu-Chun Cao

Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology - State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity

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Abstract

Determining the longevity of natural immunity after SARS-CoV-2 infection is critical for understanding immune protection and optimizing vaccine design. Over six months have been passed since the emergence of COVID-19 in China. We evaluated humoral and cellular responses in 418 patients six months after infection. 95.9% and 98.1% of the patients maintained SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG and neutralizing antibodies. All severe patients were positive for IgG and neutralizing antibodies and had significantly higher titers than mild and moderate patients as well as asymptomatic individuals. The patients had a more robust SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cell response than CD8+ T cells six months after infection. Unexpectedly, sustained immune activation was observed, which displayed as the evaluated proinflammatory monocytes, non-classical NK cells, CD4+ Treg cells, and activated CD4+ T cells. Our findings indicate that SARS-CoV-2 gives rise to persisting and robust protective immunity, which provides a promising sign for prevention from reinfection and vaccination strategy.

Funding: This work was supported by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of China (81773494 to M.J.M.), the National Major Project for Control and Prevention of Infectious Disease of China (2017ZX10303401-006 to M.J.M.), the Special National Project on Investigation of Basic Resources of China (2019FY101502 to M.J.M.).

Conflict of Interest: The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethical Approval: All patients provided written informed consent. The study was conducted following the Declaration of Helsinki, and the Institutional Review Board of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences approved the study protocol (IRB number: AF/SC-08/02.46).

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, IgG, neutralizing antibody, T cell response

Suggested Citation

Ma, Mai-Juan and Yao, Lin and Yan, Fei-Hu and Jiang, Xiao-Lin and Lu, Bing and Chen, Li-Ling and Wang, Guo-Lin and Wu, Meng-Na and Duan, Li-Jun and Zhan, Bing-Dong and Lin, Jun-Fen and Shi, Chao and Gao, Yu-Meng and Liu, Fang and Zhan, Jian-Ping and Cui, Peng-Wei and Wang, Yang and Li, Yan and Zhang, Yu-Wen and Tian, Lu-Yi and Gao, Yu-Wei and Cao, Wu-Chun, Robust Antibody and T Cell Responses in COVID-19 Patients Six Months After Infection. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3701257 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3701257
This is a paper under consideration at Cell Press and has not been peer-reviewed.

Mai-Juan Ma (Contact Author)

Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology - State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity ( email )

Beijing, 100071
China

Lin Yao

Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology - State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity

Beijing, 100071
China

Fei-Hu Yan

Academy of Military Sciences - Institute of Military Veterinary Medicine

China

Xiao-Lin Jiang

Shandong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Bing Lu

Wuxi Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Li-Ling Chen

Suzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Guo-Lin Wang

Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology - State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity

Beijing, 100071
China

Meng-Na Wu

Zhejiang Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Li-Jun Duan

Academy of Military Sciences - Institute of Military Veterinary Medicine

China

Bing-Dong Zhan

Quzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Jun-Fen Lin

Quzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Chao Shi

Wuxi Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Yu-Meng Gao

Wuxi Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Fang Liu

Suzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Jian-Ping Zhan

Suzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Peng-Wei Cui

Suzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Yang Wang

Suzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Yan Li

Shandong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Yu-Wen Zhang

Shandong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Lu-Yi Tian

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

1G Royal Pde
Parkville, Victoria 3052
Australia

Yu-Wei Gao

Academy of Military Sciences - Institute of Military Veterinary Medicine ( email )

China

Wu-Chun Cao

Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology - State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity ( email )

China

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