Research ArticleCORONAVIRUS

Persistence of serum and saliva antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike antigens in COVID-19 patients

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Science Immunology  08 Oct 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 52, eabe5511
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abe5511

Abstract

While the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 has been extensively studied in blood, relatively little is known about the antibody response in saliva and its relationship to systemic antibody levels. Here, we profiled by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) IgG, IgA and IgM responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (full length trimer) and its receptor-binding domain (RBD) in serum and saliva of acute and convalescent patients with laboratory-diagnosed COVID-19 ranging from 3–115 days post-symptom onset (PSO), compared to negative controls. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses were readily detected in serum and saliva, with peak IgG levels attained by 16–30 days PSO. Longitudinal analysis revealed that anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA and IgM antibodies rapidly decayed, while IgG antibodies remained relatively stable up to 105 days PSO in both biofluids. Lastly, IgG, IgM and to a lesser extent IgA responses to spike and RBD in the serum positively correlated with matched saliva samples. This study confirms that serum and saliva IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are maintained in the majority of COVID-19 patients for at least 3 months PSO. IgG responses in saliva may serve as a surrogate measure of systemic immunity to SARS-CoV-2 based on their correlation with serum IgG responses.

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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 work is properly cited.

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