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SARS-CoV-2 antibody persistence after five and twelve months: A cohort study from South-Eastern Norway

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  • Marjut Sarjomaa, University of Oslo
  • ,
  • Lien My Diep, Oslo Centre for Biostatistics and Epidemiology
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  • Chi Zhang, Oslo Centre for Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
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  • Yngvar Tveten, Telemark Hospital Trust
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  • Harald Reiso, Sørlandet Hospital
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  • Carina Thilesen, Unilabs Laboratory Medicine
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  • Svein Arne Nordbø, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
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  • Kristine Karlsrud Berg, Sørlandet Hospital Trust
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  • Ingeborg Aaberge, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
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  • Neil Pearce, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
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  • Hege Kersten, Telemark Hospital Trust, University of Oslo
  • ,
  • Jan Paul Vandenbroucke
  • Randi Eikeland, University of Agder, Telemark Hospital Trust
  • ,
  • Anne Kristin Møller Fell, University of Oslo, Telemark Hospital Trust

Objectives To assess total antibody levels against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS CoV-2) spike protein up to 12 months after Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) infection in non-vaccinated individuals and the possible predictors of antibody persistence. Methods This is the first part of a prospective multi-centre cohort study. Participants The study included SARS-CoV-2 real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) positive and negative participants in South-Eastern Norway from February to December 2020. Possible predictors of SARS-CoV-2 total antibody persistence was assessed. The SARS-CoV- 2 total antibody levels against spike protein were measured three to five months after PCR in 391 PCR-positive and 703 PCR-negative participants; 212 PCR-positive participants were included in follow-up measurements at 10 to 12 months. The participants completed a questionnaire including information about symptoms, comorbidities, allergies, body mass index (BMI), and hospitalisation. Primary outcome The SARS-CoV-2 total antibody levels against spike protein three to five and 10 to 12 months after PCR positive tests. Results SARS-CoV-2 total antibodies against spike protein were present in 366 (94%) non-vaccinated PCR-positive participants after three to five months, compared with nine (1%) PCRnegative participants. After 10 to 12 months, antibodies were present in 204 (96%) non-vaccinated PCR-positive participants. Of the PCR-positive participants, 369 (94%) were not hospitalised. The mean age of the PCR-positive participants was 48 years (SD 15, range 20-85) and 50% of them were male. BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 was positively associated with decreased antibody levels (OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.06 to 5.42). Participants with higher age and self-reported initial fever with chills or sweating were less likely to have decreased antibody levels (age: OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.94 to 0.99; fever: OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.75). Conclusion Our results indicate that the level of SARS-CoV-2 total antibodies against spike protein persists for the vast majority of non-vaccinated PCR-positive persons at least 10 to 12 months after mild COVID-19.

TidsskriftPLOS ONE
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Sarjomaa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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