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Relationship between anti-spike protein antibody titers and SARS-CoV-2 in vitro virus neutralization in convalescent plasma


Date: 9th June 2020 | Source: BioRxiv

Authors: Eric Salazar, Suresh V Kuchipudi, Paul A Christensen, Todd N Eagar, Xin Yi, Picheng Zhao, Zhicheng Jin, S. Wesley Long, Randall J Olsen, Jian Chen, Brian Castillo, Christopher Leveque, Dalton M Towers, Jason Lavinder, Jimmy D Gollihar, Jose Cardona, Gregory C Ippolito, Ruth H Nissly, Ian M Bird, Denver Greenawalt, Randall M Rossi, Abinhay Gontu, Sreenidhi Srinivasan, Indira B Poojary, Isabella M Cattadori, Peter J Hudson, Nicole Joselyn, Laura Prugar, Kathleen Huie, Andrew Herbert, David W Bernard, John Dye, Vivek Kapur, James M. Musser.

Newly emerged pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2 highlight the urgent need for assays that detect levels of neutralizing antibodies that may be protective.

We studied the relationship between anti-spike ectodomain (ECD) and anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) IgG titers, and SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralization (VN) titers generated by two different in vitro assays using convalescent plasma samples obtained from 68 COVID-19 patients, including 13 who donated plasma multiple times.

Only 23% (16/68) of donors had been hospitalized. We also studied 16 samples from subjects found to have anti-spike protein IgG during surveillance screening of asymptomatic individuals.

We report a strong positive correlation between both plasma anti-RBD and anti-ECD IgG titers, and in vitro VN titer. Anti-RBD plasma IgG correlated slightly better than anti-ECD IgG titer with VN titer. The probability of a VN titer ≥160 was 80% or greater with anti-RBD or anti-ECD titers of ≥1:1350. Thirty-seven percent (25/68) of convalescent plasma donors lacked VN titers ≥160, the FDA-recommended level for convalescent plasma used for COVID-19 treatment. Dyspnea, hospitalization, and disease severity were significantly associated with higher VN titer. Frequent donation of convalescent plasma did not significantly decrease either VN or IgG titers. Analysis of 2,814 asymptomatic adults found 27 individuals with anti-RBD or anti-ECD IgG titers of ≥1:1350, and evidence of VN ≥1:160.

Taken together, we conclude that anti-RBD or anti-ECD IgG titers can serve as a surrogate for VN titers to identify suitable plasma donors. Plasma anti-RBD or anti-ECD titer of ≥1:1350 may provide critical information about protection against COVID-19 disease.

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