Clin Immunol

. 2021 Oct 4;108871.
doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2021.108871. Online ahead of print.
Determination of neutralising anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody half-life in COVID-19 convalescent donors

Thomas W Barnes 1 , Johannes Schulte-Pelkum 2 , Laura Steller 2 , Daniel Filchtinski 2 , Robin Jenness 3 , Michelle R Williams 3 , Christina Kober 3 , Sandro Manni 1 , Thomas Hauser 1 , Aaron Hahn 4 , Uwe Kalina 4 , Toby L Simon 5 , Patrick Schuetz 6 , Nathan J Roth 1



Despite the burgeoning field of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) research, the persistence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralising antibodies remains unclear. This study validated two high-throughput immunological methods for use as surrogate live virus neutralisation assays and employed them to examine the half-life of SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies in convalescent plasma donations made by 42 repeat donors between April and September 2020. SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibody titres decreased over time but typically remained above the methods' diagnostic cut-offs. Using this longitudinal data, the average half-life of SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies was determined to be 20.4 days. SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibody titres appear to persist in the majority of donors for several months. Whether these titres confer protection against re-infection requires further study and is of particular relevance as COVID-19 vaccines become widely available.

Keywords: COVID-19; Convalescent donor; Half-life; Neutralising antibodies; SARS-CoV-2.