News and Research: Antibodies and seroreactivity

Quick roundup of studies on antibody production for SARS-CoV-2.


Preprint Study: Antibody reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 in adults from the Vancouver metropolitan area, Canada Oct 2020

This preprint study looked at 276 people in the Vancuver area of British Columbia. The majority of the study participants were health care workers.

Results showed that 0.6% of the participants had antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 (which was in-line with the prevalence in BC). What was interesting, though, was that the researchers also checked to see if there was seroreactivity — antibodies that react – to certain proteins that are found on SARS-CoV-2 as well as other coronaviruses. 82% of the participants had antibodies that reacted to the spike protein on SARS-CoV-2.

While it would be easy to speculate that 82% of the world is thus immune to SARS-CoV-2, that would be extrapolating this out of context. Keep in mind that most of the participants (76%) were healthcare workers who had likely been exposed in the past to lots of different viral illnesses, unlike most of us. Also, it is still not clear how much protection (if any) that antibodies to the spike protein offer against getting COVID-19.


Preprint study: Clinical and immunoserological status 12 weeks after infection with COVID-19: prospective observational study Oct 2020

This study looked at the antibody status of 108 people about 12 weeks after having COVID-19. Average age in the study was 55, with most between age 40 and 70.  The participants were tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection, with 75% of the participants having symptoms (ranging from mild to severe).  The most common symptom was dysponea, or shortness of breath. All 108 people in the study did develop antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.


Preprint study: Clinical, laboratory, and temporal predictors of neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 after COVID-19 Oct 2020

Another antibodies study on SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. This study found that:

  • 97% of the symptomatically infected patients (250) had developed antibodies to this coronavirus by day 67 after symptom onset.
  • People who had more severe symptoms had higher antibody levels.
  • About 3% of the study group (SARS-CoV-2 positive, symptomatic) persisted in never producing antibodies or having a T-cell response to the virus.

Author Information:   Debbie Moon
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. She holds a Master of Science in Biological Sciences from Clemson University and an undergraduate degree in engineering from Colorado School of Mines. Debbie is a science communicator who is passionate about explaining evidence-based health information. Her goal with Genetic Lifehacks is to bridge the gap between the research hidden in scientific journals and everyone's ability to use that information. To contact Debbie, visit the contact page.