Objectives: Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic became the greatest public health challenge globally. Study of dynamicity and durability of naturally developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 are of great importance from an epidemiological viewpoint.
Methods: In this observational cohort study, we have followed up the 76 individuals who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) for 16 weeks (post enrollment) to record the periodic changes in titre, concentration, clinical growth and persistence of naturally developed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We collected serum samples from these individuals for 16 weeks with a frequency of weekly and fortnightly during each follow-up and tested them in two CLIA-based platforms (Abbott Architect i1000SR and Roche Cobas e411) for testing SARS-CoV-2 antibodies both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Results: We recorded the antibody magnitude of these individuals 10 times between September 2020 and February 2021. We found a waning of antibodies against nucleocapsid antigen protein but not a complete disappearance by the end of 16 weeks. Out of 76 cases, 30 cases (39.47%) became seronegative in qualitative assay, although all the sera samples (100%) remained positive when tested in quantitative assay.
Conclusion: The lower persistence of anti-nucleocapsid SARS-CoV-2 antibody may not be the exact phenomenon as those cases were still seropositive against spike protein and help in neutralizing the virus.