Purpose: Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) have been considered effective in preventing and treating viral infections. However, until now, the duration and clinical implications of antibody-mediated nature immunity in Koreans have remained unknown. Therefore, we examined NAbs levels and clinical characteristics in recovered coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Materials and Methods: Blood samples were collected from 143 adult patients who had been diagnosed with and had recovered from COVID-19 from February to March in 2020 at a tertiary-care university-affiliated hospital in Daegu, Korea. A plaque reduction neutralization test was conducted to analyze NAb titers. Individualized questionnaires were used to identify patient clinical information. Results: The median number of days from symptom onset to the blood collection date was 109.0 (104.0; 115.0). The NAb titers ranged from 10 to 2560. The median NAb titer value was 40. Of the 143 patients, 68 (47.6%) patients had NAb titers ≥80, and 31 (21.7%) patients had NAb titers ≥160. The higher the age or disease severity, the higher the NAb titer. In univariate logistic regression, statistically significant predictors of high NAb titers (≥80) were age, myalgia, nausea or vomiting, dyspnea, and disease severity (p<0.05). Multivariable logistic regression showed that age ≥50 years (p=0.013) and moderate or higher disease severity (p<0.001) were factors associated with high NAb titers (≥80). None of the patients had reinfection of COVID-19. Conclusion: All recovered patients were found to have NAbs regardless of the NAb titers maintained by natural immunity. Age and disease severity during COVID-19 infection were associated with high NAb titers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (fund code 2020-ER5334-00) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT, Republic of Korea (grant No. NRF-2018M3A9H4056537).
© Yonsei University College of Medicine 2021.
- Neutralization assay
- Neutralizing antibodies
ASJC Scopus subject areas